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Protecting Against Involuntary Euthanasia by Providers

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Protecting Against Involuntary Euthanasia by Providers

Report Finds:

The laws of all but ten states may allow doctors and hospitals to disregard advance directives when they call for treatment, food, or fluids, according to a report issued by the NRLC Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics April 15, 2005 (updated 2008).

In the wake of the Terri Schiavo case, authorities have urged Americans to complete advance directives, like living wills, to state in which circumstances they would want medical treatment, food, and fluids if they become incapable of making these decisions. However, the Powell Center report charges that, increasingly, health care providers who consider a patient’s “quality of life” too low are defying these directives to deny treatment against patient and family wishes.

A national Polling Company poll conducted April 8-11, 2005 (n 500; m/e 4.5%) shows 76 % of those told “A seriously ill patient has indicated they want food and fluids but the doctor thinks the patient’s quality of life too low” say the patient should be able to receive food and fluids. Only 14% felt the doctor should be allowed to withhold them. Their position was similar concerning a patient who wants “life support” when the doctor says quality of life is too low: by 77% to 14%, the patient’s view should prevail.

Dorothy Timbs, J.D., Legislative Counsel for the Powell Center for Medical Ethics, said, “We believe most Americans will be deeply disturbed that four-fifths of the states do not clearly protect their right to choose food, fluids, or life-preserving medical treatment. It is important to fill out an advance directive like the Will to Live available on our website, here, to make your wish not to be denied food or treatment clear. However, it is equally important to work for legal reform so that your choice for life will be honored.”

Last edited by Our-Lady-Of-Victory on Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

2 The Will To Live Project on Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:52 pm



The Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics

THE WILL TO LIVE protects your own life and the lives of
your family members when you cannot speak for yourselves

* Names someone you trust to safeguard your life when you cannot speak for yourself as your "health care agent"
* Names backup agents if your first choice can't serve
* Describes the treatment you do and do not want to guide your health care agent and physicians
* Protects your family and health care agent from pressure from health care providers and others by allowing them to prove what you really did want
* Relieves the agony of decision making for them by making your wishes clear

What is the Will to Live?

The Will to Live is a legal document that you can sign which:


Names someone to make health care decisions for you (your "heath care agent') if you develop a condition that makes it impossible for you to speak for yourself (become "incompetent"), and

Makes clear (in the form of written instructions to your health care agent) what medical treatment you would want if you can no longer speak for yourself.

Download the Will to Live
Source: http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/willtolive/StatesList.html

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