Navigating ethical conflicts between advance directives and surrogate decision-makers' interpretations of patient wishes

Courtenay R. Bruce, Trevor Bibler, Andrew M. Childress, Ashley L. Stephens, Adam M. Pena, Nathan G. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is little guidance on what clinicians should do when advance directives (or living wills, specifically) are challenged, particularly when surrogate decision-makers' interpretations of patients' wishes conflict with the living will. In our commentary, we make a controversial argument suggesting that overriding living wills can be ethically preferable to the alternative of strictly adhering to them. We propose four ethical considerations for determining whether it is ethically supportable to override living wills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-567
Number of pages6
JournalCHEST
Volume149
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Commentary
  • Critical care
  • End of life
  • Medical ethics
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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