HSC 3485 Rasmussen University Module 03 Making Decisions About Healthcare Discussion

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As a healthcare advocate, a patient whom you are working with was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. This was an unexpected diagnosis and the prognosis for the patient is grim. You want to make sure the patient’s rights are respected and medical decisions are properly made. Unfortunately, the patient does not have a living will or any other specific documentation about medical and after-life decisions.  

In your first post, choose at least two documents that you would recommend be completed and explain what you would say to the patient about the reasoning for and the importance behind each document.

For your reply post, respond to at least one other student’s initial discussion post. Choose one of the documents that was listed and discuss the legal ramifications that would present if this document were not completed. Be sure to explain how the patient and the patient’s family will be directly affected if the document was not completed. 

Due dates for your initial and response posts can be found by checking the Course Syllabus and Course Calendar

Reference information required

Response to this as well

Monique Thomasshe/her/hers

5/21/23, 3:40 PM 


In the event that a patient is unable to express their choices about medical care, documents such as a living will, a proxy, or a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order can be used to carry them out. 

1. A living will is a legal instrument that specifies the patient’s desired course of medical care in the event that the patient is unable to do so for themselves due to incapacity. A patient may specify their wishes on the use of life-sustaining measures, the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration, and the performance of specific medical treatments. Having a living will in place gives patients and their families peace of mind that their wishes will be carried out in the event of their untimely death.

2. A proxy, also called a healthcare power of attorney, is a legal document that names another person to make healthcare decisions on the patient’s behalf if the patient is unable to do so. When a patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to express their wishes for medical care, this can be crucial. The proxy can collaborate with the care providers to make decisions that honor the patient’s priorities and preferences.

Third, a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) document is a medical order that states resuscitation should not be attempted in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. Patients with terminal illnesses or those who do not want to endure intrusive or unpleasant resuscitative measures may greatly benefit from having this document on file. Having a DNR on file can help make sure doctors are aware of a patient’s intentions in advance so they don’t perform unneeded procedures in the event of an emergency.

If a patient and their loved ones have a living will, power of attorney, and DNR on file, they can rest easy knowing that their intentions will be carried out in the event of a medical emergency. A healthcare provider and an attorney should be consulted to verify that these documents are properly created and accurately reflect the patient’s intentions and values.


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