Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008494
 
 

Citations (1)



 


 



Designating Health Care Decision-Makers for Patients Without Advance Directives: A Psychological Critique


Nina A. Kohn


Syracuse University - College of Law

Jeremy A. Blumenthal


Syracuse University - College of Law

November 2008

Georgia Law Review, Vol. 42, p. 979, 2008

Abstract:     
States' default surrogate statutes allow family or friends to make health care decisions for incapacitated patients who lack advance directives. Although such statutes are commonly justified on the grounds that they honor the wishes of incapacitated persons, our review of empirical research on surrogate decision-making challenges this justification. We find that default surrogate statutes do a reasonable job of capturing majority preferences for health care decision-making processes, but do not ensure that patients receive the treatment they would have selected for themselves if able. Rather, surrogates appointed under default surrogate statutes can be expected to frequently make treatment choices that are inconsistent with patient preferences. Nevertheless, in the absence of better alternatives, default surrogate statutes play an important role in the American health care system. We therefore urge states to consider certain statutory changes that would improve the ability of such statutes to effectuate patient wishes. We also identify several avenues for further empirical research that could help to improve the accuracy of surrogate decision-making.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: health care, decision-making, end-of-life, advance directives, psychology, statutory design

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: August 31, 2007 ; Last revised: August 11, 2009

Suggested Citation

Kohn, Nina A. and Blumenthal, Jeremy A., Designating Health Care Decision-Makers for Patients Without Advance Directives: A Psychological Critique (November 2008). Georgia Law Review, Vol. 42, p. 979, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008494 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1008494

Contact Information

Nina A. Kohn (Contact Author)
Syracuse University - College of Law ( email )
Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States
315-443-6565 (Phone)
Jeremy A. Blumenthal
Syracuse University - College of Law ( email )
Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States
315-443-2083 (Phone)
315-443-5394 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,502
Downloads: 160
Download Rank: 109,998
Citations:  1

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.406 seconds