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Advanced Directives And What They Guarantee You

In the event that you prepare a Living Will and later change your mind, you have the right to revoke your directive at any time. Usually you are asked to sign an advance directive for admission to a hospital, nursing home or other health care facility. You now have the right to do so under New Jersey state law in order to protect yourself and ensure your wishes are carried out. It's important to note that nothing in the Advanced Health Care Directive legislation impairs the obligation of physicians (and other health care professionals) to provide for the care and comfort of patients and to alleviate pain. Concern about pain management need not be a barrier to consideration of a Living Will. If you're waiting for your physician to initiate a discussion about Living Wills, you may be waiting for some time. According to results of a study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (Vol. 324, No. 13, "Advance Directives for Medical Care-A Case For Greater Use"), "physicians generally seem to be favorably disposed to advance directives for medical care, but they seem reluctant to initiate discussions about them". Understandably, medical practitioners focus on sustaining life, and so it may be that the responsibility for initiating discussions about end-of-life issues remains with each of us. Remember, we are well-prepared to assist you in considering this vital issue.


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