The importance of advance directives in primary care

Prim Care. 1996 Mar;23(1):67-82. doi: 10.1016/s0095-4543(05)70261-x.


The advance directive has been acknowledged widely by patients and physicians as a desirable tool to promote patient autonomy at the end of life. Rates of completion of advance directives, however, remain low among all segments of the population. Significant patient and physician barriers to completion of advance directives are considered. Legal and ethical principles of advance directives, as well as some practical means of overcoming barriers to these important discussions, are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Terminal Care / economics
  • Terminal Care / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States