History of A Living Will
- Living wills are important statements about end-of-life care.intubation image by Stef Run from Fotolia.com
The Patient Self Determination Act (PDSA) is a federal law passed in 1990 by Congress that required providers to notify adult patients that they have the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment. In addition, they have the right to complete a legal document called an advance directive.
Advance Directive Information
- A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) guideline is an important part of a living will.skin doctors tools of trade image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com
An advance directive provides information to health care providers about the level of care a patient desires if the patient cannot communicate. In addition, a patient can designate a relative, friend or attorney to speak for her about the health care treatment she prefers.
Do Not Resuscitate
- Extraordinary methods are used to keep patients alive without other orders.fire engine closeup image by Robert Young from Fotolia.com
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) is a request to not to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a patient's heart stops or if he stops breathing. Hospital staff will try to help all patients whose heart has stopped or who have stopped breathing unless they have DNR orders in their chart or in a living will.
- Other directives in a living will include the continuation of water, food and medications if a patient is unresponsive. Many patients choose at this point for health care providers to minimize pain but to withdraw other forms of care.