Advance Directives

Advance directives are important legal documents that can allow a person to indicate what types of medical care they do and do not want to receive. In this article, we’ll define the term “advance directive” and explain how it may be used to try to reduce nursing home abuse. 

Key Takeaways

  • Advance directives are legal documents in which people can express their decisions and preferences about end-of-life care ahead of time
  • Advance directives give guidance to the family, friends, and health care professionals of people who are unable to express their wishes because they are dying or permanently unconscious
  • Individuals can also name a power of attorney for health care, a person who will be able to make healthcare decisions for them if they are unable to do so themselves
  • Advance directives can be used to prevent nursing home abuse by giving an older adult’s loved ones and health care team information that ensures their wishes are met, preventing abusive staff members from harming or injuring them

What Are Advance Directives?

Advance directives, also called advance healthcare directives or living wills, are legal documents that allow people to indicate their decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They are used to situations in which a person is too ill or hurt to express their wishes in the moment so that their family, friends, and healthcare professionals will know what to do. 

Specifically, advance directives indicate which treatments a person does or does not want if they are dying or permanently unconscious, and whether they want to accept or refuse medical care. Issues addressed in advance directives include:

  • The use of feeding tubes
  • The use of dialysis and breathing machines
  • Organ or tissue donation
  • If an individual wants to be resuscitated if their breathing or heartbeat stops

Advance directives can also name a power of attorney for health care, or a person who will be able to make healthcare decisions for an individual who is unable to do so themselves.

Advance Directives and Nursing Home Abuse

Advance directives can also be used to prevent nursing home abuse. Older adults can use advance directives to direct their own medical treatment ahead of time, protecting themselves against abusive decisions of third parties. They also have the ability to choose somebody that they trust to make health decisions for them. When the family and medical team know in advance what the individual does and does not want to be done to them, they will be able to use this information to ensure that the resident’s wishes are met even if they cannot communicate them anymore. This way, the staff members of the nursing home will not be able to freely make their own decisions in a way that may harm or injure the resident. 

It is important to note that who the resident chooses as their power of attorney is crucial. This person will be able to exert a high degree of power and control over the individual’s care and life, allowing them the ability to abuse their position. As such, advance directive decisions should be made carefully, with much thought and consideration, and a trusted person should be chosen.

Recent Posts

Related Posts

Ancillary Services
Daisy RogozinskyAugust 2, 2022
Admitting Physician
Daisy RogozinskyAugust 1, 2022
Discharge Planning
Daisy RogozinskyAugust 18, 2022
Cognitive Impairment
Daisy RogozinskyAugust 14, 2022
Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
+1 (888) 529-9321
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
© 2022 Attorney at Law | All rights reserved
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram