Does a doctor have to listen to your health care directive?

Does a doctor have to listen to your health care directive?

| Aug 14, 2020 | Estate Planning

When you fell and got hurt, you were left with a serious head injury. You managed to recover, but after going through the situation and seeing the decisions that were made on your behalf, you decided to set up a health care directive. In the future, you want your best interests to be taken care of based on what you want.

You’re worried that this health care directive may be overruled by others’ decisions, though. Even if you make your own decisions, can a medical provider go against them? That’s a great question.

Your health care provide has a duty to follow your health care directive

For the most part, health care providers do need to comply with your health care directive. However, there are exceptions. Some possible exceptions include:

  • If a health care provider believes the directive directly goes against their conscience
  • If the directives would result in ineffective health care or violate the standards the provider, medical clinic, hospital or other institution would normally abide by
  • If a health care directive sets up a ruleset that is against the hospital or institution’s policies

If the medical provider who is seeing you can’t abide by your directives, it doesn’t mean that your wishes will be ignored. Another doctor or health facility may take over your care instead and then go on to honor your wishes. If your wishes continue to be ignored, then you may be in a position to file a lawsuit against the medical team, hospital or others involved in your care. Having a health care proxy in addition to your health care directive can help you make sure that your wishes are met, since a loved one will be there to speak on your behalf.

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