, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 995-996
Date: 05 Jul 2013

It is Time for a Gender Specific Discussion on Advanced Directives with Female Patients During Routine Health Visits

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An end of life discussion is an important aspect of medical care; it identifies an individual’s wishes in the event of incapacitation and inability to direct their medical management. An advanced directive (AD), advanced care planning (ACP), health care proxy, living will and a do not resuscitate order (DNR) are all synonymous with an end of life directive. Regardless of the terminology utilized, the discussions should not be limited only when a terminal disease is diagnosed. An AD should be addressed during basic well care management [1]. The result of this process could decrease family discord as well as prevent conflicting directions given to medical caregivers, as evidenced in the prolonged legal cases of Karen Ann Quinlan and Terry Schiavo [2].

The low number of enacted ADs in the general population has been described in various countries [37]. It is disappointing that women diagnosed with a female specific terminal illness have a low number of reported ADs [810]. Our experience