Do patients have the right to refuse treatment?

Denial of end-of-life care

The decision to refuse treatment at the end of life refers to a treatment to prolong or save life. The passage of the Federal Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) in 1991 ensured that Americans could choose not to receive life-sustaining treatment at the end of life .

The PSDA also mandated nursing homes, home health agencies, and HMOs by federal law to provide patients with information on advance directives, including the prohibition of resuscitation orders (DNRs) , living wills, medical orders. for Life Support Treatments (POLST) and other discussions and documents.

When you choose not to heal, knowing that denial will shorten your life, it is usually because you are choosing what you think will be a better quality of life, not a longer life, which might be less pleasant.

Some people, knowing that they will soon die, even decide to commit suicide, rather than face decisions that will actually be carried out by others.

Keep in mind that opting out of life support treatment does not mean that you have to give up palliative care, which can even be provided to patients who do not want to stay alive. Palliative care aims to relieve pain at the end of life, but it does not help prolong life.

Before stopping treatment at the end of your life, be sure to follow the steps to help you make an informed decision .

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