Ferron’s news article “Advance Directives Help Patients Create End-of-Life Road Maps” deals with the use of advance directives when it comes to end-of-life road maps. Ferron notes that advance directives are not common as only 27% of US patients have them, but they are instrumental in making the right decision when patients cannot speak for themselves, and their caregivers should decide (par. 13). One of the major barriers to the spread of these directives is the cultural beliefs and values existing in the contemporary society as people try not to think about the time of crisis.
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The article in question is closely related to a broader topic of values and beliefs in healthcare. Ferron mentions that Americans, as well as other many other nations, do not like thinking of the death and the time of any kind of disability (par. 14). People focus on life and health, which is a good trend as they remain active and positive. Nonetheless, various crises have a tremendous impact on modern people as they are unprepared. Although death is a natural thing, people do not think about it even when they are getting old. Advance directives can become the path to get ready for major crises that can occur.
It is necessary to note that one of the central values in the contemporary society, as well as the US healthcare system, is that an individual has the right to make every choice concerning his/her health. In some culture states, there could be times when the individual’s opinion could be even disregarded, but now the patient is the major decision maker. At that, patients may lose the ability to speak for themselves due to an injury or certain chronic conditions. Their caregivers become responsible for the life and wellbeing of their loved ones. The choice can often be very hard, and the advance directive can become a helpful tool. Some people claim that the advance directive should be a part of the Medicare plan as it makes the process of the healthcare services provision quite clear (Ferron 26).
Of course, it healthcare professionals can also benefit from the popularization of advance directives. They will be able to respond to various challenges in a more efficient way. For instance, a patient with a chronic illness can outline procedures that can or cannot be performed. The patient can also identify the point when certain procedures can or must be carried out. In case of severe injuries and loss of consciousness (or ability to talk), the patient can still be sure that his/her interests and wishes will be taken into account. Thus, the individual is central to the provision of healthcare services as the patient can make major decisions rather than caregivers or healthcare professionals. Another implication for healthcare units is concerned with purely legal issues. In some cases, caregivers or patients may sue hospital’s personnel, but the existence of advance directives can decrease the number of lawsuits as there will be a particular road map to follow.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the article in question deals with the concept of values and beliefs. The advance directive can become a road map for healthcare professionals and patients’ caregivers. It is consistent with the contemporary beliefs concerning the role of the individual in his/her own life. The US healthcare system sees the individual as the central agent whose decisions are particular directions to follow. The will of the patient is respected. At the same time, the article also touches upon people’s neglect of such issues as death or disability.
Ferron, Emily. “Advance Directives Help Patients Create End-of-Life Road Maps.” Mountain Xpress, 2016. Web.