Advanced Directive

Subject: Health Care
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1146
Topics: Medicine, Health, Management, Medical Ethics, Public Health

Table of Contents

Advanced directive constitutes means through which people manage and carter for their health care even at situations of insanity, unsound mind and unable to communicate effectively. A person makes a will to guide over who to make decisions in situations of aging and not being able to make decisions over health care. The person chosen is protected by law and is expected to make right decisions as far as health care and well-being of the patient is concerned. The essay discusses the challenges in describing health directive, challenges that the chosen trustee face in decision making and differences between advance decision and physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST).

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Part 1 

In California, advance directive constitutes of two parts, that: oneself health instruction and health care agent. Individuals who appreciate end of life care can subscribe to medical directive or appoint a health care agent. A health care agent is a trusted individual or organization whose role is to make communication about the patients will on medical decisions. The Chosen agent is responsible for all the decisions made by the patient in cases where the patient is not able to talk or make a decision. In a case where a patient did not choose a health care agent, the health care provider is supposed to use the patients wish and will to make decisions as indicated in the individual health care instructions (Suvillan. 2015). Individual health care instructions are the truth a person tells the doctor, family and health care agent about the suffering situations and conditions through which one should make to ease the pain from a certain ailment.

Since advance directive is ones written a medical will that must be followed, the medical actioners have to respect the patient’s decision. The directives take effect as soon as the doctor realizes that the patient is not able to make decisions. The commonly used directive is living will; which states what medication the patient should receive and the ones not to get. This medication can include feeding machine, artificial nutrition and breathing machine. Secondly, the medical power of the attorney is referred to as a health care agent. When individuals do not declare their health care agent or oneself health care instruction, people around them are faced with difficulties in decision making as they do not know what the patient would prefer. For example, Nina Klinger, a 78 old woman had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her doctors asked her to write her wish and preferences as far as end life medical care is concerned. Patients with complications like hers were also asked to provide a detailed health care advance directive. As for Nina, her husband suffered from the same ailment which came with lots of complications like pneumonia, diabetes, and surgery to a feeding tube in to enable pipe feeding just to mention a few. They had to take him through all treatments since she did not know what best he would prefer. The doctors could not prescribe the best end of life care for him (Busardo, Bello, Gulino, Zami, & Frati. 2014). 

Part 2

A patient with POLST form gets preferred treatment favorable to him/her. The form is a document that individual fill indicating how they would like to be treated with the aid from health expert as per their wish during when they unsound. The form contains all the legal preferences that should be applicable in case of sickness. Once signed by the patient; doctors, emergency professionals, and another health professional should honor the POLST form. A POLST form is considered legal after when the patient agrees on the conditions of health care wish through which the patient chooses and signs and health official or doctor countersigns (Willmott, white, Tilse, Wilson & Purser 2014). The patient’s health condition should be serious or the disease should be of chronic. Older people are advised to take the forms. Individuals with life-threatening ailments seek the forms at the health centers. One can ask for the forms the medical station. Both the patient and the doctor should sign the POLST form in order to make it a legal document.

Part 3

The advanced directive AD is of significance to the health sector. Individuals with chronic illnesses are advised to make advanced directives which helps during when the patients are not able to speak or make decisions. In California, there are two types of AD, which is oneself health instruction and health care agent. Oneself health instruction is where a patient decision on how should be treated and contained at the patients inability to communicate Whereas health care agent is trusted individual by patients who are chosen to make a decision on their behalf during when they are not able to make decisions or speak. Moreover, there is a physical order for life-sustaining treatment POLST (Scott, Mitchell, Raymond & Daly) POLST is a medical form which one declares one the type of treatment to receive and how to be treated when the individual becomes unable to speak or make a decision. The form should be signed by both the patient and the health officer or doctor. 

The difference between an advanced health care directive and the POLST is that, in advanced health care directive, a patient chooses a trustee unto whom shall speak and judge on behalf in case of unsoundness or lack of ability to communicate. The preferences of the patient are entrusted and respected when the patient is not able to make decisions. On the other hand, POLST is a legal form provided at health institutions in some states unto which individuals with ailments take to prescribe on the type of healthcare they might get when they are not able to speak or make decisions concerning their health. Nurses play a vital role in assuring patients right to autonomy in choosing the healthcare interventions does or does not want. The patients is given the POLST forms from which he/she chooses the wish of healthcare of choice.  Nurses advice patients on variety of options and decisions to make on the treatment of the forthcoming ailments. Patients are enlightened about the signs and symptoms of various ailments and the possible means of caring. 

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  1. Busardo. S, Bello. S, Gulino. M, Zami. S and Frati. P 2014, Advance Health Care Directives, BioMed Research International Volume 2014 (2014).
  2. Maureen. K, 2014, Advance Directives Education: A Critical Need, journal of Christian nursing vol.31(4),Pp 220-225
  3. Scott. I ,Mitchell. G, Raymond. E and Daly. M , difiicult but necessary conversation-the case  for advance care planning, the medical journal of Australia, vol199 issue 10.
  4. Suvillan. R 2015, Advance directives, survey of primary care patients,vol 61(4) pp. 353-356.
  5. Willmott. L white. B, Tilse. C, Wilson. J and Purser. K 2014, Advance Health Directives: Competing Perceptions, Intentions and Use by Patients and Doctors in Queensland, QUT Law Review Volume 13, Number 1, 2013.
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