Autonomy, Ezekiel Emanuel, and the Limits of Advance Directives

Medical Directive

(Discovery Institute) – One of the lessons (wrong, it turns out) that Americans took from the Terri Schiavo fight goes something like this: “What made Terri’s situation so tragic was that she didn’t have a “living will,” an advance directive. If she had only had one of those, everything would have worked out fine.”

Advance directives, more commonly called “living wills,” are simple enough documents. Aging with Dignity is just one of many organizations that offers a “simple” advance directive.

You run through a list of treatments or care you do or do not want to receive in the future, putting pen to paper, and viola!—you can now rest easy knowing your wishes will be respected should you no longer be able to speak for yourself in a critical moment. Anyway, that’s the idea. CONTINUE