The Doctor-Proxy Relationship: Perception and Communication

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 27 (1):13-19 (1999)
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Health care decision making has changed profoundly during the past several decades. Advances in scientific knowledge, technology, and professional skill enable medical providers to extend and enhance life by increasing the ability to cure disease, manage disability, and palliate suffering. Ironically, the same interventions can prolong painful existence and protract the dying process. Recognizing that medical interventions, especially lifesustaining measures, are not always medically appropriate or even desired by a patient or family, health care professionals endeavor to determine who should make health care decisions and according to what standards. The importance that Western culture places on individual rights and self-determination is reflected in the growing advocacy for patient autonomy and the discrediting of physician paternalism. However, the question of autonomy becomes more complex when patients lack the capacity to decide for themselves.Advance directives represent one response to the dilemma of decision making for incapacitated patients. The original advance directive, the living will, is a written list of instructions reflecting the individual's wishes about care, usually at the end of life.



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References found in this work

Deciding for Others.Gerald Dworkin, Allen E. Buchanan & Dan W. Brock - 1991 - Philosophical Quarterly 41 (162):118.
The Doctor-Proxy Relationship: The Neglected Connection.Nancy Neveloff Dubler - 1995 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 5 (4):289-306.
Assessing Decision-Making Capacity.Bernard Lo - 1990 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 18 (3):193-201.
Assessing Decision-Making Capacity.Bernard Lo - 1990 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 18 (3):193-201.

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