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The Patient Self-Determination Act: Potential Ethical Quandaries and Benefits

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2009

Ernlé W. D. Young
Affiliation:
Co-Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University, and serves as the ethics consultant to and chairs the Ethics Committee of the Stanford University Hospital.
Shelli A. Jex
Affiliation:
M.T.S., is a research assistant at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics and a member of the California Consortium on Patient Self-Determination

Extract

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.

Type
Special Section: The Patient Self-Determination Act
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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References

1. Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital, 211 NY, 125, 105 NE 92 (1914).Google Scholar

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