Facebook Can Improve Surrogate Decision Making
Thaddeus Mason Pope
Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Australian Health Law Research Center, QUT; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute
American Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 12, No. 10, p. 43-45, (2012)
A significant body of empirical literature powerfully demonstrates that surrogates frequently fail to accurately and faithfully make the same treatment decisions that the patient would have made for herself, if she still had capacity (Pope, 2010). This inaccuracy is sometimes due to emotional and psychological barriers. But is also often due to the surrogate’s ignorance of the patient’s preferences. This article summarizes the challenges of using social media as well as the three opportunities it presents including (1) identify the right surrogate, (2) preventing the patient from becoming unbefriended, and (3) encouraging advance care planning.
Keywords: Surrogate, social media, technology, healthcare, death, dying, unbefriended, advance care planning, advance directive, Facebook, prospective autonomy, power of attorney, nursing homes, incapacitated
JEL Classification: K32, I1
Date posted: September 7, 2012
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