Questions that face dying individuals, their families, and the professionals that help them at the end of their lives are explored in this volume. The contributors help the reader to come to terms with issues of mortality complicated by the diversity of cultures within society.
Chapter 4: Autonomy, Advance Directives, and the Patient Self-Determination Act
Whereas people's end-of-life choices can be influenced by their cultural and religious traditions, their choices also are affected by the institutions with which they interact and other groups to which they belong. This section of the book presents chapters about end-of-life considerations within two institutional cultures (the hospital/nursing home and the military) and for two groups of individuals facing illness and disability (people living with AIDS and people living with disabilities).
Questions addressed in this section include the following:
- How does the culture of the hospital, especially in the emergency room and intensive care unit, affect whether or not someone's advance directive is honored?
- What elements of the hospital ...