The Patient Self-Determination Act
McCloskey, Elizabeth Leibold
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1991 Jun; 1(2): 163-169.
The Patient Self-Determination Act was signed into law in November 1990 to take effect in December 1991. The Act marked Congress's first legislative action related to life-sustaining medical treatment. It requires every health care facility that participates in Medicare or Medicaid to inform adult patients about advance directives. McCloskey discusses the legislative process leading to passage of the Act; pro-life groups' opposition to federal support of advance directives; provider groups' skepticism toward the perceived administrative burden of federal intervention; and professor Alexander Capron's preference for existing voluntary efforts over premature legislation. (KIE abstract)
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