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Keywords

End of life, ethics, hospice, advance directives

Abstract

It has been said, “Everybody will die, but very few people want to be reminded of that fact” (Handler, 2000, p.28). Perhaps this is the reason so few adults have advanced directives. Even after the 2005 public debate over the Terry Schiavo case, it has been calculated that two-thirds of Americans adults have not completed advance directives (Morhaim & Pollack, 2013).

Americans are united in desiring that their wishes be honored. Sister Nancy, a senior Catholic Nun, had completed her living will. After a medical episode and hospitalization she was furious that hospital emergency physicians had not honored her advanced directives. Yes, her life was saved; but the sacred trust of patient and physician was broken. It is this sacred trust we all count on.

This paper will provide an ethical overview of advance directives, hospital care, hospice services, and physician roles and essential responsibilities. It will include socially responsible parameters for patient autonomy. Finally, it will affirm biblical influence and advocacy in maintaining ethical care at the end of life.

DOI

10.15385/jce.2014.13.2.3

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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