Disadvantages Of Advance Directives

808 Words 4 Pages
Life is not a certainty and death is not something most people talk about. What happens to the people who have a stroke, develop dementia, or any other cause that can leave the patient runnable to make their own decisions about how they wish to be medically cared for? “The 1990 Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) encourages everyone to decide now about the types and extent of medical care they want to accept or refuse if they become unable to make those decisions due to illness” (The Patient Self Determination Act (PSDA), 2013). Advance directives are put into place to make decisions for the ones who can no longer make it themselves. It also gives the option to leave a family member or someone else to be in charge of medical decision making. …show more content…
According to ConsultGeriRN.org, advance directives provide information about what they would like to have done, guidance for health care workers, and immunity for all involved when the advance directive is followed with good intentions (Geriatric Nursing Protocol: Advance Directives, 2012). Many things can happen after a patient has entered an extended care facility. While keeping the patient comfortable, free of harm, and giving them basic care needs is a standard, some decisions are not as easy to make. When we think about life sustaining surgeries, code statuses, and many other scenarios, sometimes the family cannot decide which way to go. If a patient is declared brain dead, should they be kept on life support or not? If they are living in a nursing home with a low quality of life, should they undergo a lifesaving heart procedure? That is just two of the millions of different medical questions that power of attorneys may face when making decisions about their loved ones life. It is almost impossible for a patient to write down what they want to be done in every single situation that could go wrong after they are declared mentally ill or unstable. Advance directives are put into place to guide the family but do not always give definitive answers. That is where the setbacks of advance directives come …show more content…
The first and most important thing that a nurse should do is make sure that the patient’s advance directive is always followed to the patient’s request. They should also be familiar with each patient’s wishes as far as code status and other emergency situational needs. Simply making sure the advance directive is copied, on file, and in an easy accessible place is more important than most people would think. It needs to be ready to get if anything should come up. The nurses can also talk with the family about their patient, what they would have wanted, and give support to family members in difficult times. Information about advance directives can be given out to patients ahead of time. The more information handed out, the more awareness about them, the more people see the need to have one, and the more people get

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