Advance end-of-life treatment planning. A research review

Arch Intern Med. 1996 May 27;156(10):1062-8.


The year 1996 marks the fifth anniversary of the federal Patient Self-Determination Act. The Patient Self-Determination Act required hospitals, nursing homes, and health plans to ask whether patients have advance directives and to incorporate them into the medical record. A "living will" is an advance directive by which a person tells caregivers the circumstances in which life-sustaining treatment is to be provided or forgone if the patient is unable to communicate. A "durable power of attorney for health care" enables one to designate a person to speak on his or her behalf if the author loses decision-making capacity. "Advance planning" is the process of reflection, discussion, and communication of treatment preferences for end-of-life care that precedes and may lead to an advance directive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning*
  • Advance Directives*
  • Communication
  • Comprehension
  • Empirical Research*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Resuscitation Orders
  • Social Values
  • Terminal Care
  • Uncertainty
  • Withholding Treatment