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April 23/30, 2019

Statutory Restrictions on Advance Care Planning and Pregnancy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Bioethics and Department of Social Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA. 2019;321(16):1574-1575. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.2588

Honoring a person’s wishes at the end of life is widely recognized as profoundly important to humane, ethical care.1 To that end, efforts to help individuals make their preferences about end-of-life care known have involved advance care planning, including the completion of advance directives and identification of a surrogate decision maker. Yet, in many jurisdictions in the United States, one condition invalidates a patient’s wishes or efforts on the part of surrogates to honor them: pregnancy.