Advance Health Care Directives And Ovarian Cancer
Advance Health Care Directives and Ovarian Cancer
Advance health care directives present your wishes and instructions with respect to the care you wish to receive in the event that you are no longer able to communicate effectively with others. In some cases this is a natural outcropping of the progression your ovarian cancer will take while in other cases this may be due to an unexpected turn in your treatment that was impossible to foresee. For example, your surgery may have had unexpected complications that required medical professionals to put you into a medically induced coma for your safety but at this point the prognosis might not be as good as all had hoped.
Advance health care directives and ovarian cancer are closely intertwined and even though many a patient is somewhat squeamish planning for their possible death, it is wise to discuss these matters ahead of time, especially if there is no loved one with authority to make decisions in your stead. For example, if there is a question as to how to proceed with your treatment but you are incapacitated, the medical personnel will turn to your spouse. If you are not married or legally separated, then your adult children will be asked. If this yields not results, the doctors may attempt family members, unless prohibited to do so by state law.
Occasionally there will be family members who may not even know that you suffer from ovarian cancer or simply do not know you well enough to guess what you might want. In the same vein, you may not disagree with your family members on your wishes for treatment and yet a failure to have advanced health care directives planned and put in writing well in advance of their becoming necessary, you might find yourself at your relativesí mercy.
It is crucial to understand that your advance health care directives and ovarian cancer treatments may take place at a facility or under the supervision of a doctor who may be opposed to your wishes. This is sometimes the case when a physician disagrees with an overly pessimistic view a patient may hold of her potential recovery and while this is rare, it does occur. In other cases, a health care facility may be closely connected to a certain faith that permits some of your directives to be carried out. This is to be disclosed to you prior to or during the admission process and it is up to you to decide to have your care transferred elsewhere. Please note that physicians have the right to conscientiously object to your requests and your only recourse is to change facilities or treating physicians.
One case where an advance health directive will always be unenforceable is a request for active euthanasia (except in the state of Oregon). While passive euthanasia, the withholding of treatment, is permitted, it is illegal for a physician to take an active role in your death. Failure to recognize this limitation will put you and the doctors at odds unnecessarily at a time when you need to focus on getting well.
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