Advance directives

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1999 May;17(2):519-26, xiii. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8627(05)70076-6.


Different types of advance directives invite varying interpretation from emergency care professionals. As informed consent of a patient is not always possible to procure in emergency situations, advance directives can provide useful guidelines for clinicians' decision-making processes regarding individual patient care. Specifically communicated instructions establish a course of aggressive or nonaggressive treatment, while general wishes leave the emergency department physician to assume an innate understanding of individual patients while undertaking an active role in decision-making for that patient's care. This article explores the relationship between advance care directives and the emergency department.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Mental Competency
  • Patient Selection
  • Physician's Role*