Legal Briefing: Advance Care Planning
Thaddeus Mason Pope
Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute
August 3, 2010
Journal of Clinical Ethics, Vol. 20, No. 4, p. 362, 2009
Since 2009, Professor Pope has authored a quarterly “Legal Briefing” column for the Journal of Clinical Ethics. Each briefing comprehensively reviews legal developments concerning a particular issue in clinical bioethics. The Journal of Clinical Ethics owns the exclusive copyright to distribute the full-text content.
The “Legal Briefing” column in this issue of The Journal of Clinical Ethics covers legal developments pertaining to advance care planning (ACP). Not only has this topic been the subject of recent articles in this journal, but it also been the subject of numerous public and professional discussions over the past several months. The national debate over healthcare reform has focused significant attention on how people can and should make decisions about medical care at the end of life. Consequently, ACP has recently had an unusually high profile in legislative and regulatory halls across the United States.
Legal developments concerning ACP can be usefully grouped into six categories: (1) general healthcare decisions statutes, (2) statutes mandating compliance with advance directives in long-term care facilities, (3) “right-to-know” informed consent laws, (4) advance directive registries, (5) POLST (Physician’s Order on Life Sustaining Treatment) laws, and (6) laws mandating insurance coverage for ACP.
Keywords: advance care planning, advance directives, healthcare, medical ethics, informed consent
JEL Classification: K32
Date posted: August 4, 2010 ; Last revised: July 1, 2014