Analyze ethical and legal dilemmas that healthcare workers may encounter in the medical field.
You have recently been promoted to Health Services Manager at Three Mountains Regional Hospital, a small hospital located in a mid-size city in the Midwest. Three Mountains is a general medical and surgical facility with 400 beds. Last year there were approximately 62,000 emergency visits and 15,000 admissions. More than 6,000 outpatient and 10,000 inpatient surgeries were performed.
An important aspect of the provider/patient relationship pertains to open communication and trust. Patients want to know that their doctors and the support staff associated with their care understand their wishes and will abide by them. Ideally, these conversations happen well before an emergency or procedure takes place; however, often times this information is missing from a patient’s file. As part of Three Mountains’ initiative to build trust with their patients, an increased emphasis has been placed on obtaining living wills from the patient as part of the intake process to ensure that the healthcare team has written directives of the patient’s wishes in case of incapacitation. You will be creating a living will for a patient and provide educational information as to why the patient should fill it out during the admission process before a procedure.
- Introduction: Explain the definition of a living will and its key components. This section will provide an educational overview of the document for the patient.
- Living Will Template: Create a living will that can serve as a template to the patients. This should cover the basic treatment issues such as resuscitation, feeding tubes, ventilation, organ and tissue donations, etc. Provide instructions in the template that can be easily altered, depending on each patient’s wishes.
- Summary: In this section, you will discuss the importance of this document and encourage patients to complete it. Address how this document ensures that a patient’s wishes are known and followed by the healthcare team.
NOTE – APA formatting and proper grammar, punctuation, and form required. APA help is available here.
Expert Solution Preview
Living wills are legal documents that outline an individual’s wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care. They serve as a means for the patient to communicate their healthcare wishes in the event that they become incapacitated and unable to voice their preferences. As part of the healthcare industry’s emphasis on open communication and patient autonomy, living wills are becoming increasingly common. In this assignment, we will be creating a living will template that can serve as a guide for patients.
1. Explain the definition of a living will and its key components. This section will provide an educational overview of the document for the patient.
A living will is a written document that outlines a patient’s wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care in the event that they become incapacitated. It typically covers issues such as resuscitation, feeding tubes, ventilation, organ and tissue donations, and palliative care. The key components of a living will include a statement of the individual’s healthcare wishes, instructions for their healthcare team regarding the use of life-sustaining treatment and end-of-life care, and the individual’s signature or that of a witness who attests to their competence to make healthcare decisions.
2. Create a living will that can serve as a template to the patients. This should cover the basic treatment issues such as resuscitation, feeding tubes, ventilation, organ and tissue donations, etc. Provide instructions in the template that can be easily altered, depending on each patient’s wishes.
Living Will Template:
I, ________________________ (insert full name), being of sound mind, voluntarily make known my preferences about medical treatment and end-of-life care in the event that I am unable to communicate these decisions myself. I request that my wishes be respected even if they differ from the views of my health care provider(s) and/or family members.
If I am unable to communicate my preferences for medical treatment, I authorize my named healthcare representative, if any, to make decisions about my medical treatment based on my wishes as stated in this document, and my representative may not use this document to make decisions for me that are not consistent with my stated wishes.
I direct that treatment be limited to comfort care and that all life-sustaining treatment, including resuscitation measures, be withheld or withdrawn if my attending physician(s) determines that I am in an incurable or irreversible condition, or in a persistent vegetative state, or otherwise as permitted by law. I authorize my attending physician(s) to administer medication or treatment to alleviate my pain, even if such treatment may hasten or prolong my dying.
If I am in a terminal condition and am unable to communicate my preferences, I request that life-sustaining treatment, including resuscitation measures, be withheld or withdrawn. I direct that I be allowed to die naturally with only medication to alleviate pain and suffering.
I do not want to be artificially fed or hydrated, including through the use of a feeding tube, unless doing so would relieve my pain or discomfort.
I hereby donate all tissues and organs for transplantation or other therapeutic purposes, provided that they are deemed medically suitable for such purposes.
I have attached additional instructions regarding my medical treatment preferences and end-of-life care, which should be reviewed by my healthcare provider and my designated healthcare representative.
Instructions for modifying the template:
The above living will template is a guide for expressing your medical treatment preferences and end-of-life care. You may choose to modify the template to better fit your individual preferences. Any changes you make should be clear and specific. You should also discuss your living will with your healthcare provider(s) and your designated healthcare representative to ensure that your wishes are followed.
3. In this section, you will discuss the importance of this document and encourage patients to complete it. Address how this document ensures that a patient’s wishes are known and followed by the healthcare team.
A living will is a valuable tool for patients that ensures their wishes are known and followed by their healthcare team. By completing a living will, patients can communicate their treatment preferences and end-of-life care in the event that they become incapacitated and unable to voice their preferences. This document helps to ensure open communication and trust between patients and their healthcare providers, as well as providing guidance for family members who may be responsible for making healthcare decisions on the patient’s behalf. Completing a living will is an important step in taking control of one’s own healthcare and ensuring that their wishes are respected.