Learning Center Articles

Control of the Decision-Making process

Control of the Decision-Making process

  • Patient Self-Determination Act
    • Require that healthcare facilities provide clear, written information to every patient regarding his or her legal rights to make health care decisions, including the right to accept or refuse treatment.
    • It also establishes the right of a person to provide written treatment directions for clinicians in the event of a serious illness
    • Living will
      • Personal statement of how and where one wishes to die, and can be changed at any time by the individual, and activated when the person the person is terminally ill and incapacitated
    • Directive to Physician
      • Similar to the living will, but can be revoked orally at any time without regard to patient competency.
    • Power of Attorney
      • Differs from a living will in that a person is appointed to act as the patient’s agent.
      • Individuals do not have to terminally ill or incompetent to allow the empowered individual to act on their behalf

The Nursing Process

Assessment

  • No different than any other adult, just consider the changes that occur in the older person
  • Use caution however; age alone does not preclude these changes; each person must be assessed as a unique individual.