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Patient Self-Determination Act

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Patient Self-Determination Act
The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) is a Federal law that requires nursing homes, hospitals, home health agencies and HMO’s to provide information on advance directives at the time of admission. Under this law, health care institutions are required to provide a written summary of a person’s decision-making rights, which vary from state to state and provide in writing, the facility’s policies with respect to recognizing these advance directives
(AmericanBar.org). The PSDA also requires health care institutions to ask the patient if he/she already has an advance directive and document it in the patient’s medical record. Health care institutions are also required to educate their staff about advance directives and not be discriminative against whether the patient does or does not have an advance directive. Advance directive is a legal document in which patients provide instructions on how they are to be treated in the event of becoming very ill with little to no hope for recovery (Green, M., & Bowie, M., 2005). A patient’s health care directive serves some of the purposes as a living will, but also encompasses others, as well. Since it is impossible to foresee every circumstance regarding a person’s health, a health care medical power of attorney is also needed to place someone in authority to weigh all medical facts and circumstances and carry out the patient’s wishes accordingly (AmericanBar.org). A health care advance directive combines the living will and medical power of attorney into one document, and may include organ donation and other directions such as where and how the patient prefers to be cared for. This document is more comprehensive and flexible, and is the preferred legal tool (AmericanBar.org)

References

Green M., &. B. (2005). Essentials of Health iInformation Management. Clifton Park, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.

unknown. (2011). American Bar Association. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from Law for Older Americans: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/directive_livingwill.html

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