Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on healthcare law & ethics.

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Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on healthcare law & ethics. College: Health care A living will refers to written instructions where an individual specifically s what should happen to him or to his health in the event he is not able to make decisions due to incapacity or illness. The person who receives the instructions is called an agent. Apart from instructions to make decisions concerning the health of the issuer, the agent can also be given the power of an attorney. This is where someone appoints another person to make decisions on his behalf when he is incapacitated. Such instructions are witnessed by a competent person.

For a living will to be applicable, it should meet specific conditions. Firstly, the will should be made by someone in his sound state of mind. Secondly, a living will should be specific about the duties or decisions to be made. Thirdly, a living will should be voluntary. This means that the maker of a living will should not be under duress to do so.

2. A health care proxy is a written document that permits a patient to appoint someone called an agent to make specific decisions affecting the health of such patient in the event the patient is incapable of making decisions. However, so long as the patient is in position to make decisions himself, the health care proxy will not be effective.

Health care proxy should meet certain conditions. In most cases, people appointed as health care proxies are people who are closely related to the patient such as next of kin. Another condition of a health care proxy is that it can not be signed by the physician attending to the patient. In addition, the patient can issue other instructions to nullify the preexisting conditions. The common health care proxies are issued when someone is about to undergo a major medical operation.

3. Durable power of Attorney refers to general, specific as well as health care instructions or powers given to someone that will be exercised when the issuer becomes mentally incompetent. Someone can also sign a durable power of attorney form. Fundamentally, they are not different from other powers of the attorney. However, a few texts or words are added to make them durable. However, just like other powers of the attorney, they only become effective only when the issuer becomes mentally incompetent or incapacitated.

Such powers may require the appointed agent to make decisions concerning matters such as how to handle bank transactions, purchasing life insurance, settling claims, buying and selling of property, management of real estates, among others. Such instruction should be make by someone in his sound state of mind and should be handed offer to a person or persons seen as competent in the spectrum of the law.

4. A health care agent is a person or persons appointed by an individual to make health care decisions when the person appointing them can not make decisions. Such agent can help make decisions concerning healthcare of an individual when such person can not communicate, for instance after traffic accidents. At times, health care agents are called attorney in fact or surrogate agents.

A health care agent can refuse or withdraw a certain medical treatment. It is worth noting that, a medical agent should be willing to take up the duty. In most cases, a medical agent should be briefed on the medical conditions of someone and be given clear instructions on the steps to take in various circumstances. In USA, such instructions should be signed by the issuer and be witnessed by at least two competent people.


Monti, E.J & Tingen, M.S. (1999) Multiple Paradigms of Nursing Science ANS 21 (3) 64-80.

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