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Honoring Your Health Care Documents in Charlotte Hall, MD

Honoring Your Health Care Documents in Charlotte Hall, MD


A fact of life we all die. But the positive impact you have on others will be a living legacy.
 
- Catherine Pulsifer


Medical personnel are duty bound to protect the lives of their patients. Prolonging lives is their daily mission while working in health care facilities. When you have expressed your wishes in your living will or advance directives, your primary concern would be if your wishes will be honored by the doctor and the hospital no matter what your wishes are.

With the existence of a medical health care document, your doctor and other health care providers will comply with your instruction as set out in the document. They are generally required to follow it and the instructions of your health agent, as long as the agent's direction for your health is the reasonable interpretation of your health care document. In some other cases, a health provider can also put his foot down firmly and reject medical decisions made by your agent if:


• The individual health care providers' conscience goes against the agent's decision

• The agent's decision regarding your treatments goes against the health care institution policy

• The decision of the agent would lead to medically ineffective health care or health care that violates generally accepted health care standards applied by the health care provider or institution

The health care institution will not do away with their own policies, however if that will be the case, you health care agent will be notified by you health care provider and the agent can decide on your behalf whether to transfer you to another facility that can honor your wishes or directives. In some states, a health care provider will be legally liable for damages if they do not honor the wishes stated in your health care documents.


The only situation that can invalidate your health care documents is pregnancy. You can, however, state in your health care document what you want in the event that your document goes into effect while you are carrying a child. Depending on how far along you are on your pregnancy, doctors and the health facilities have their own policy of administering all medical care to keep you and your fetus alive, especially if you are on the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

State law also indicates that withdrawal of life support from a pregnant woman or any other treatment for that matter should not be done if the fetus can be bought to term.

 
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