When Any Answer Is a Good Answer: A Mandated-Choice Model for Advance Directives

Approximately one in three American adults has executed a living will or healthcare declaration stating personal preferences regarding medical treatment in the event that he or she becomes terminally ill and unable to communicate. This figure stands in striking contrast to the 90% of Americans who, when asked, express specific wishes regarding their choice of care under such circumstances. Congress attempted to increase the number of Americans with advance directives when it passed the Patient Self Determination Act in 1990, billed at the time as the “Miranda Warning” of medicine, which requires hospitals and nursing homes receiving federal funds both to inform patients of their right to refuse life-sustaining care and to record all written directive in patients’ charts
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DOI 10.1017/S0963180110000253
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