Too soon to give up: Re-examining the value of advance directives

American Journal of Bioethics 10 (4):3 – 22 (2010)
Abstract
In the face of mounting criticism against advance directives, we describe how a novel, computer-based decision aid addresses some of these important concerns. This decision aid, Making Your Wishes Known: Planning Your Medical Future , translates an individual's values and goals into a meaningful advance directive that explicitly reflects their healthcare wishes and outlines a plan for how they wish to be treated. It does this by (1) educating users about advance care planning; (2) helping individuals identify, clarify, and prioritize factors that influence their decision-making about future medical conditions; (3) explaining common end-of-life medical conditions and life-sustaining treatment; (4) helping users articulate a coherent set of wishes with regard to advance care planning—in the form of an advance directive readily interpretable by physicians; and (5) helping individuals both choose a spokesperson, and prepare to engage family, friends, and health care providers in discussions about advance care planning.
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