Advance Directives Advantages And Disadvantages

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Advance directives are becoming popular and highly recommended today. However, they have their advantages and disadvantages. In the case of Margo, her advance directive raises conflict between the principle of autonomy and beneficence. The principle of autonomy describes a person’s ability to make his or her own decisions without others controlling their choices or influencing their decisions. The principle of beneficence describes the act of doing good to others by either removing harm, preventing harm and promoting good. The advance directive serves to maintain a person’s autonomy in situations in which they are not competent enough to make informed decisions. Applying this principle to Margo, the healthcare team would have to respect her wishes and deny her any treatment. However, in doing so, the healthcare team would not be upholding the principle of beneficence because they would not be providing treatment that would be beneficial to the patient. If the patient were to receive the treatment, the healthcare team would be removing harm from the patient. The “past-wishes versus present-interests” is an issue in which the patient’s past wishes do not align with the patient’s current interests. The patient, when competent might have had differed desires and views compared to the now incompetent patient. In some situations, mental changes that occur may cause an individual to change their personality completely. This then raises the question of whether the competent
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