Health Care Advanced Directives

Health Care Advance Directives
Cheryl Cavin
Ivy Tech Community College – Northwest

This paper covers and explains the Patient Self-Determination Act, the living will and the health care power of attorney.   The living will and the health care power of attorney are two legal documents that every adult should be aware of and execute on their behalf.   It touches on the basics of each document and the importance of how they relate to your health care wishes and decisions.   Having these documents in place can spare your family or loved ones anguish and inform them and provide the direction to your end of life wishes.   This paper also reviews how health care directives related to Brenda Hewitt and her common-law husband and their treatment in a New York hospital as explained in the article “Death in a New York Hospital” written by Engelbert L. Schucking, Dr. rer.nat.

Health Care Advanced Directives
Hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes and HMO’s provide at the time of admission information on health care advanced directives.   A federal law called the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) took effect on December 1, 1991 ("Patient Self-determination Act." 1992).   The PSDA requires health care institutions that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds to provide patients with information regarding state laws concerning self-determination issues.   The PSDA gives patients the rights to facilitate their own health care decisions, to accept or refuse medical treatments, and to make an advance health care directive ("What Is the Patient," n.d.).
A health care advance directive is a legal document for any health care decisions made when you are unable to speak for yourself.   “Health care advance directive” is a general term for any written statements concerning your future health care made when you are competent.   Formal directives include the health care power of attorney and the living will.   You must be a legal adult and be of sound mind to make a...