Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 December 2009
As Part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, the Patient Self Determination Act (PSDA) legislates new responsibilites for healthcare facilities. The authors served as members of the California Consortium on Patient Self-Determination, and the materials produced by this group offer healthcare facilities a valuable guide for implementing the PSDA. The ACt follows a historical trend led by doctrines of informed consent and increasing patient autonomy regarding rights to accept or refuse medical treatment and to execute advance directives. The requirements of the Act will influence healthcare facilities and how they communicate with patients about advance directives. Although the Act seeks to increase awareness of advance directices among all participants in healthcare interactions, it could pose major stumbling blocks to providing sensitive and humane care if certain concerns are nor addressed adequatley. The benefits of the Act could be far reaching and substantial for patients and healthcare facilities alike.
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