Patients’ Advance Directives for Health Care in Case of Incapacity

  • Linda Emanuel


Many people would like to have some control over their medical care, not only when they are alert but also when they are too sick to participate in decisions. Similarly, those who have to make decisions for patients in this position would like to be guided by the patient’s wishes. Advance care planning, which evolved in response to these needs, is described in this chapter. The first part of the chapter discusses descriptive, historical, legal, and conceptual foundations of advance directives. Since their use requires at least as much skill as any other clinical interaction, the second part of the chapter concerns the practical matters of how to conduct advance care planning with patients. Because this field is relatively new, a final part is devoted to future possibilities for and limits to the use of advance directives.


Advance Directive Advance Care Planning Persistent Vegetative State Medical Directive Prior Odds 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Linda Emanuel

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