- Purchase/rental options available:
Advance directives have been lauded by scholars and supported by professional organizations, Congress, and the United States Supreme Court. Despite this encouragement, only a small number of capable patients execute living wills or appoint health care agents. When patients do empower proxies, doctors may be uncertain about the scope of their duties and obligations to these persons who, in theory, stand in the shoes of the patient. This article argues for a conscious focus on the ethical duties, emotional supports, and guidance owed by physicians to health care agents.