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Morality of Advanced Directives Abstract This paper presents an in-depth discussion about the issues involved in honoring a patients advance directive Ethical considerations surrounding the issue as they relate to the nursing profession are addressed The purpose of the paper is to express an informed position on the issue of honoring a patients advance directive and explore reasons why one may not be honored The topic was chosen on account of personal observation and awareness in an acute care setting The sources used to develop this paper are published nursing journals current books related to this issue and the Internet The paper concludes with recommendations to assist the professional nurse in dealing with issues related to honoring a patients advance directive Will Your Advance Directive be Honored Advances in medical technology have done a great deal to produce miraculous cures and recoveries In some circumstances however these advances have created problems for the elderly More aggressive technology approaches are used to extend the life of the elderly On the whole the elderly as well as others welcome that development -- even if they fear some of its consequences With these advances it has become possible to keep people in a vegetative state for almost unlimited periods of time Moreover there are situations in which neither the patient nor the family has the ability to bring such unhappy circumstances to an end For this reason advance directives are becoming increasingly prevalent In a recent study King 1996 reported that approximately 90 of the American public want advance directives Both the young and the healthy express at
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