Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Danger of Living Wills

From an Article in the North Carolina Journal of Medicine, entitled "Palliative Care," by Phillip A. Sellers, MD (July / Aug 2004, Vol. 65, No. 4, Pg. 247;)

Here is what Dr. Sellers had to say about the dangers of living wills;

“Today some caregivers assume the presence of a living will or a DNR order is is also a “comfort care” order, when it clearly is not. Many health-care providers , including doctors, nurses, patients and families are unclear about the difference. At times, there is a tendency for the care giving medical staff to assume that is ok for the patient to die if there is a living will or a DNR order. The staff may not be as attentive to that patients needs and complaints as they would be to a patient with no living will or DNR order. Indicate3d or beneficial treatment may be delayed or not instituted.”

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