• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Advance Directives and the Family

  • By: Lucia D. Wocial
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The ability of medical technology to prolong life has grown tremendously in recent years. These advances, coupled with highly publicized legal cases involving patients who could not speak for themselves, have raised many questions about how we should care for people at the end of their lives. In its simplest form, an advance directive (AD) is a written statement that details a person's wishes for health care. The document may state choices for certain types of treatments or name someone, a surrogate, to speak on the person's behalf. People have the right to do this, guaranteed by federal legislation. The intent of such documents is to help health care professionals, family, and friends make decisions about a person's health care and treatments should that ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles