[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.205.176.107. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
August 14, 1991

Limitations of Listing Specific Medical Interventions in Advance Directives

Author Affiliations

From the Program in Ethics and the Professions, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, and the Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

From the Program in Ethics and the Professions, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, and the Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

JAMA. 1991;266(6):825-828. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470060087032
Abstract

Recent events, including the Cruzan decision and the passage of the Patient Self-Determination Act, have renewed interest in the strengths and limitations of various types of advance directives. In one well-known approach, the competent person indicates preferences for or against a series of specific medical interventions that might be considered if the person loses decision-making capacity. However, such lists of interventions may shift attention away from overall treatment goals or may prescribe inappropriate medical care. Moreover, listing specific interventions in advance does not necessarily enhance self-determination or reduce uncertainty in decision making.

(JAMA. 1991;266:825-828)

×