Americans urged to sign living wills.Most people do not know they have the right to request or refuse medical treatment should they become incapacitated in·ca·pac·i·tate
tr.v. in·ca·pac·i·tat·ed, in·ca·pac·i·tat·ing, in·ca·pac·i·tates
1. To deprive of strength or ability; disable.
2. To make legally ineligible; disqualify. . But if one organization has its way, a million U.S. citizens will sign living wills this year alone.
Choice in Dying, a New York-based nonprofit advocacy group for patients' rights The legal interests of persons who submit to medical treatment.
For many years, common medical practice meant that physicians made decisions for their patients. This paternalistic view has gradually been supplanted by one promoting patient autonomy, whereby patients and at the end of fife, unveiled a public education campaign on advance directives Advance Directive
A document expressing a person's wishes about critical care when he or she is unable to decide for him or herself. However, it does not authorize anyone to act on a person's behalf or make decisions the way a power of attorney would. in November. There are two types. In a living will, a person specifics wishes about medical treatment should that person be unable to communicate. In a durable power of attorney durable power of attorney
A legal document conveying authority to an individual to carry out legal affairs on another person's behalf. for health care, someone can designate another son to make decisions about medical care should the signer not be able to speak for himself or herself.
"Our goal in this campaign is to make sure that Americans know how to exercise their legal rights in end-of-life decisions and make their rights a reality," said Dr. Karen Orloff Kaplan, executive director of Choice in Dying. At a Washington, D.C., press conference announcing the campaign, Kaplan cited a 1991 Gallup poll Gallup Poll
a sampling of the views of a representative cross section of the population, usually used to forecast voting [after G H Gallup, statistician]
Gallup poll n → showing that 75 percent of respondents approved of living wills; of those, 20 percent actually had signed one.
Choice in Dying is planning to reach out to consumers, health care providers, elected officials, and other opinion makers through its campaign, "Choose ... Or Someone Else Will." It has already established a toll-free line (800-989-WILL) staffed by trained professionals who can provide personal advice, legal assistance, free advance directive documents, and die latest information on state regulations. The group has also established a network of state lawmakers who are responsible for passage of advance-directive legislation.
The group is urging that advance directives be incorporated into the proposed national health care reform. It recommends that "advance directives" be established as a check-off item on the proposed National Health Security Card and that all doctors discuss possible end-of-fife medical choices and preferences with their patients while they are taking standard medical histories.
During the Washington press conference, Christy Cruzan White - whose sister, Nancy, was kept alive by feeding tubes for seven years - said one of the greatest gifts a person can give loved ones loved ones npl → seres mpl queridos
loved ones npl → proches mpl et amis chers
loved ones love npl would be to take responsibility by preparing an advance directive. The Cruzan family fought a long legal battle to stop the tube feeding tube feeding,
n a method for supplying liquid nutrition through a tube that passes through the nasal passages and into the stomach. This method is utilized when ingesting food through the oral cavity is inadvisable or painful due to surgery or injury. that kept Nancy alive while she lay in a persistent vegetative state persistent vegetative state: see under coma, in medicine. following a car accident. The tube feeding was stopped on December 14, 1990. Cruzan died 12 days later.
"Young people can be the most vulnerable to being held hostage to medical technology, simply because their wishes are not known," cautioned White, whose sister was 25 at the time of the accident.