Most of us are uncomfortable with thoughts of our own death or
serious illness and so we put off decisions we ought to make when
we're healthy, when we can spend time thinking about our values and
preferences. Planning for Uncertainty tells you why it is important
to think carefully about the final details of your life and to plan
for the possibility that you won't be able to make your wishes
known. As family physicians, the authors of Planning for
Uncertainty have seen what happens when a person lacks any kind of
advance directive for health care, becomes seriously ill or
injured, and loses the capacity to express preferences and make
decisions about health care. The result can be great anguish for
families and needless suffering for patients.
Planning for Uncertainty uses a question-and-answer format to
explain what you need to know about advance directives the living
will, the durable power of attorney, and the values history. All
are intended to clearly document your preferences and decisions
about life-sustaining health care, a practice strongly encouraged
by the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990. The authors explain
a broad range of medical choices, tell why and how to prepare
advance directives, and explore ethical issues such as active
euthanasia, assisted suicide, and passive euthanasia. Topics
The types and purposes of advance directives for health care
The provisions of the Patient Self-Determination Act
Deciding when medical treatment is beneficial and when is it
How ethical principles affect health care decisions
The legal significance of the living will and the durable power
of attorney for health care
Writing a "Values History"to outline your health care
Involving your family, your physician, and others
With sample documents and a wealth of practical information,
Planning for Uncertainty enables you to prepare for the possibility
that some day you may be unable to communicate your health care
decisions. It allows you to spare your family the difficult task of
deciding for you and to spare yourself from futile medical
procedures. Here is a comprehensive and reliable resource for
everyone who wants to learn more about advance directives,
including health care professionals, retirement counselors, and
family legal advisers.
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