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    Advance Directives Record At-a-Glance

    Advance directives help to ensure that treatment preferences are honored.


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Advance Directives At-a-Glance

  • Advance directives help to ensure that treatment preferences are honored.
  • Statutorily-endorsed advance directives include living wills and health care powers of attorney. Statutory forms and related materials are available from the resources described in the sidebar accompanying this article.
  • Health care power of attorney documents should not only designate a health care agent but also should include guidance as to the principal's treatment preferences.
  • If individuals wish to execute both a living will and health care power of attorney, they should be sure that the documents are consistent.
  • If a now-incapacitated patient's treatment wishes are clear, given his or her past statements and his or her values, feelings, and beliefs, they should be honored.
  • Conflicts or questions about treatment decisions for an incapacitated patient at a health care facility should be directed to the facility's bioethics committee if the facility has one.