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Can physicians ignore your advance medical directives?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Estate Planning

One of the most important documents involved in solid estate planning is the advance directive. With this valuable legal tool, you can specify your medical care wishes and rest assured that your providers will follow them. In most cases, advance directives lend strength to other items included in your estate plan (power of attorney, etc.).

In general, healthcare providers in East Brunswick, NJ, strive to follow advance directives. Since this document is a legal part of estate planning, medical workers must usually comply.

When can providers stray from recorded advance directives?

In rare cases, doctors may decide they cannot follow a patient’s recorded directives. These exceptions include the following situations:

  • The directive would compromise the medical worker’s conscience.
  • The directive would result in substandard healthcare.
  • The directive would violate the medical facility’s stated ethical policies.
  • The directive would require a facility to adopt low healthcare standards.

With that said, medical professionals may not ignore the wishes you outlined in an advance directive. Instead, a doctor or other provider must inform you or your chosen representative about his or her inability to comply. At that point, you or your representative can arrange a transfer to a facility that will follow your directives.

To most, advance directives are vital to gaining the peace of mind estate planning provides. Stating your wishes clearly and staying within the confines of estate planning law improves a healthcare facility’s ability to comply with your wishes. If you want to add advance directives to your existing plan but are not sure how to get started, legal guidance can help.