Advance Directives and the Pursuit of Death with Dignity

Advance Directives and the Pursuit of Death with Dignity

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[Cantor provides] both a cogent and provocative text and prodigious references." -The New England Journal of Medicine

Cantor develops a careful and accessible ethic of autonomy and dignity regarding forgoing life-prolonging medical treatment... " -Ethics

A thoughtful, informative and sensitive text... " -European Medical Journal

Professor Cantor of Rutgers University School of Law has created a scholarly and sophisticated, yet quite accessible, legal analysis of the subject of advance directives... detailed, exhaustively referenced... " -The Florida Bar Journal

This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about advance directives for health care." -Doody's Health Sciences Book Review Journal

Cantor provides a very thorough, reliable, and readable guide... " -Robert M. Veatch, Director, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

Cantor examines the medical, legal, and moral issues surrounding advance medical directives-those devices aimed at controlling medical intervention during the dying process after the patient is no longer competent.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 163.3 x 243.6 x 23.6mm | 577.27g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 025331304X
  • 9780253313041
  • 2,154,811

Back cover copy

An advance medical directive is a device aimed at controlling medical intervention during the dying process after a patient is no longer competent. Because of its ambiguous legal status and the ambivalence of medical personnel, it is still uncertain whether the advance directive will be a successful tool in the individual's struggle to retain a modicum of dignity in the face of modern life-prolonging technology. After examining the issues surrounding future-oriented medical decision making, Cantor outlines the legal foundation and framework governing advance directives and considers how such documents should be drafted in light of that legal framework. He suggests guidelines for implementing advance medical directives, anticipating the major problems likely to confront administrators of such directives, and discusses possible channels for enforcement of directives when health-care providers balk at implementation. Finally, he considers the moral foundation and the moral limits of future-oriented autonomy. This book will be an important resource for any person involved in the design or application of an advance medical directive - physicians, nurses, hospital social workers, administrators of health-care institutions, lawyers, clergy, and lay people seriously concerned about exercising control over the dying process in today's high-tech medical environment.
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Table of contents


1. The Bounds of Autonomy for Competent Medical Patients
2. Advance Directives and Problems of Prospective Autonomy
3. Choosing the Best Format in Light of the Statutory Framework for Advance Directives
4. Drafting Advance Instructions
5. Interpretation and Administration of Advance Directives
6. The Moral Boundaries of Shaping Post-Competence Medical Care
7. Enforcing Advance Directives
8. New Jersey's Model Legislation

Appendix A: Advance Directive for Health Care
Appendix B: Form Health-Care Power of Attorney
Appendix C: The New Jersey Bioethics Commission's Combined Advance Directive for Health Care (Combined Proxy and Instruction Directive)
Appendix D: A Values Profile

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About Norman L. Cantor

NORMAN L. CANTOR is Professor of Law and Justice Nathan L. Jacobs Scholar at Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, and is also a member of the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University. He served as an advisor to counsel in the Karen Ann Quinlan case and as advisor to the New Jersey Bioethics Committee. He is author of Legal Frontiers of Death and Dying and numerous law journal articles covering legal aspects of death and dying.
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