, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 193-208

The Patient Self-Determination Act and Advance Directives: Snapshots of Activities in a Tertiary Health Care Center

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Abstract

This study describes the results of a retrospective review of patients' charts who had an advanced directive (AD) and who were hospitalized in a tertiary, acute care teaching hospital. The purpose of the review was to understand from clinical, sociological, ethical and legal perspectives the nature and utility of ADs. Findings and implications of the review are discussed in terms of: patient demographics; diagnoses; quality of ADs; influence of ADs on clinical decisions; and legal aspects of ADs.