Articles Tagged with Medical Directives

MP900182808 [Pacemakers] prolong lives, but “all those people will face decisions down the road,” Dr. Mueller said. “’Do I keep it going? Do I turn it off?’” Physicians have similar questions, including what kinds of patients confront these choices and who usually winds up making these decisions.

Do you or a loved one live with a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator? These devices keep the clock ticking, so to speak. But when you are making end-of-life plans, when is the right time to turn the pacemaker off? This scenario is all too common and is presenting challenges in geriatric medicine and palliative care.

Recently, The New Old Age Blog took a look at this perplexing issue in an article titled “A Decision Deferred: Turning Off the Pacemaker.”

MP900407501"It seems like there seems to continue to be confusion about what it means to die using neurologic criteria," said Cynda Hylton Rushton, professor of clinical ethics at Johns Hopkins University.

Two recent medical cases are making headlines over the often blurry lines between life, death, medical ethics and the law. When confronting issues like brain death and life support, what is the "right" decision for the patient?

CNN recently considered these two cases in the headlines and the surrounding issues in an article titled “When 'life support' is really 'death support'.


Often, proxies are confused about how “do not hospitalize” orders work. Several proxies believed, mistakenly, that a such an order was equivalent to a request to withhold medical intervention altogether.

For elderly loved ones in nursing homes, there is a very powerful tool found in a little known directive known as the “do not hospitalize” directive. Unfortunately, it also happens to be underused and misunderstood, as pointed out in recent article in The New Old Age Blog titled simply “A Misunderstood Directive.

Advanced directives, as you may well know, are your medical choices reduced to black and white. They are intended to speak for you when you cannot. “Do not hospitalize” does not mean you do not want to receive care. In fact, you can even spell out the circumstances when you really want to go the hospital!

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