Patients and healthcare providers have different opinions that concern the application of advanced directives. Below are the responses to the questions in the correct order.
Directives are legal, authoritative documents that enable a patient to put in writing a will before passing on to avoid future confusions. The directives are in written form. They clearly illustrate the amount and quality of care a patient would like to receive during his or her terminal illness and even as death approaches. Every patient has a right to have advanced directive. Consequently, hospitals and physicians must honor a directive as permitted by law (Fremgen, 2009).
In the given text by Fremgen (2009), the various types of advanced directives include the following. First is a living will, which the patient drafts before he or she becomes unable or incompetent to make any healthcare decision. The document determines the fate of the patient after he or she becomes incompetent. For example in a living will, the patient may state a need to be given nutrition support such as feeding tubes or breathing support of an external respiration system (Fremgen, 2009). The second is the durable power of attorney, which is a legal document that empowers another person normally referred to as a proxy, to help make any healthcare decisions after the patient is declared incompetent or when he or cannot make any further decision regarding his or her healthcare. The last advanced directive is the Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR). This document is an order that indicates that the patient has no need for resuscitation in case his or her breathing fails. Copies of these advance directives must be available to the personal physician, friends and close relatives. Copies should be kept in the patient’s nursing place for rapid reference at any time (Fremgen, 2009).
According to Fremgen (2009), Uniform Anatomical Gift Act is an example of advanced directive. It is a form of law. The main purpose of the act is to allow clearly anybody of and older than 18 years, and who is of sound mind, to donate any part of their body or organ for transplant in other patients or medical research purposes. The Act has two specific rules to safeguard it. First, no money should be charged for the organ transplantation and, secondly, the physician not involved in that transplant must determine the time of death of that donor. In order for that organ or part of the body to be accepted as a gift, the donor must have a card that bears a signature of two other witnesses. However, if the members of the family of the donor do not approve for the donation, the hospital at large or the physicians concerned cannot insist on it (Fremgen, 2009).
A patient in this case has a right to advanced directives because they are legal documents and acts that regulate actions to support human life (Cantor, 2006). All people are entitled to advanced directives unless an individual is a minor person who cannot make healthcare decisions for him or herself. Specifically, both durable power for attorney and a living will is advisable: to be accepted by all patients unlike uniform anatomical gift, which raises much concern among the family members regarding organ donation by the patient (Fremgen, 2009).
Patients in this case have the right to refuse treatment. This depends on the doctrines of the different religions. For instance, in the case of the Jehovah Witnesses and some Christian scientists, their faiths do not allow them to accept blood transfusion, no matter how bad their health may be. However, for the minors of the same faith, a court order may be made and a guardian appointed to give consent to allow for any medical treatment to the infant. The refusal of a patient to accept treatment is often a challenge to many physicians; this should be addressed with their religion and faith (Fremgen, 2009).
As a health professional, in order to reduce and curb the problem of patients refusing treatment, I can encourage the government to make an effort to educate the public and various religions on the importance of modern day treatment with respect to the kind of lifestyle that most people lead today, to enable people to live longer (Fremgen, 2009).
It is imperative to give a patient the right to approve his or her consent on any medical care or procedure that involves his or her body. Consequently, patients should reasonably accept personal physicians as well as their work in treating their ailments. In addition, a patient has the right to know the benefits and risks that may be associated with a medical procedure involving his or her body. If surgery is performed in any patient without his or her consent, it is regarded as an assault (Fremgen, 2009). Performing a surgery without explaining to the patient what the surgery entails (known as informed consent) means that he or she was not given the right to certify the medical procedure involved, including any alternative treatments, risks, and benefits of that surgery. In addition, performing a surgery without the consent of the patient is considerable as a crime of battery; because the physician will be involved in touching of the patients’ body, yet the patient was not granted the chance to indicate, even through behavior that he or she accepts and have understood the medical procedure (Fremgen, 2009).
Crime of battery applies mostly to implied consent; where the patient has to imply that he or she has understood what is to happen on his or her body during a medical procedure. Performing surgery without the consent of the person is obviously an intentional act. Informed is considered good for both the patient and the physician. For example, the physician needs not to inform the patient that they might die in the process of operation: he or she cannot guarantee a successful result. The physician cannot restore a patient to his or her original state of health. The physician may decide not to inform the patient of the risks involved especially if the patient is likely to receive the outcome negatively, like fainting or advanced heart attacks. Lastly, a physician cannot elicit hopes for cure for every patient (Cantor, 2006).
Such an action can be taken as a criminal act if the physician carelessly neglects the patient. It implies a violation of civil law because it specifically deals with the private life and rights of an individual. Furthermore, the patient had already stated that he or she does not believe in any modern treatment of cancer, yet the physician ignores the indication and continues with the modern technology for treatment (Fremgen, 2009). Sometimes, the patient has no alternative but to file a claim against personal health attendants in cases involving mistreatment. In this case, both the patient and the physician should be aware of the steps and procedures involved in filing a complaint, as well as any occurrence in case of unfortunate happenings. It is better for one to understand the laws and rules of any institution to avoid trappings by the law keepers’ authority (Fremgen, 2009).
The amount of time given to a patient to file a claim in case of a lawsuit emergence for the breach of a civil law depends on various issues. Patients who have signed the risks involved in treatment have won lawsuits cases, yet the treatment totally failed. The state law may dictate the length of time taken by a patient to file a claim; it is often within 180 days from the time the patient discovered the offense. For the patient to file a claim, he or she should be able to prove the professional conduct of the physician either by use of records or even the physician’s conduct (Green, 2012). This include the physician taking part in medical procedures without having a valid license, committing a felony, insufficient keeping of records by the physician, with impaired ability or a mental illness, excessive prescription of drugs, and physical abuse to the patient among others. This also depends on the ability of the patient to sign the paper claim: that is with regard to his or her medical condition, and as per the time of lodging the claim. The patient should make the details in the complaint paper non-dismissible because of lack of evidence, and the complaint should be sent through a certified mail. The legal procedures involved after filing a complaint is usually long, and the result thereafter may take time of between 2 to 6 years from the time of filing. However, all this may be determined with the ability of the patient to handle and follow all the procedures in time to avoid delays. It is for this reason, that patients are advised to file a complaint if their health is in a better condition. This enables them follow and participate in the cases, which they are party to, within the stipulated time (Fremgen, 2009).