Making Your Wishes Known
Your doctor and other members of your healthcare team use their medical and scientific expertise to provide quality healthcare. Their goal is to help you be functional and independent for as long as possible. However, in some situations, providing the best care requires choosing among conflicting responsibilities, values, and principles. For example, it may not be possible to support both safety and independence for a person who has serious mental health problems. Moving into an institution would increase safety but reduce independence, while staying at home would maintain independence but at an increased risk of injury.
There are legal and ethical guidelines that help address such dilemmas, but reaching decisions in individual circumstances is still often difficult. Regardless, your personal wishes are the most important part of the decision-making process.
This section will cover the various guidelines for situations that may involve legal and ethical decision making:
Updated: March 2012
Posted: March 2012