Accreditation

Eight tips for advance directives

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, May 1, 2005

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The death of Terri Schiavo in Florida on March 31 renewed the debate about end-of-life decisions, inspired pending legislation, and forced hospitals to brush up on advance directives (AD) management.

Shiavo died 13 days after hospice workers removed the feeding tube that had sustained her life for 15 years. Widespread media attention centered on the emotionally and politically charged issue of her right to die and the legal battle between her husband and her parents.

The matter attracted state and federal government attention, and legislation of all types is being explored in nearly every state.

The epic case and its relentless media attention brought end-of-life decisions to the forefront for many healthcare professionals.

Leslie J. LaBelle, RN, MSN, MBA, CPHQ, Joint Commission Resources Inc. (JCR) consultant, highlighted this case during a March 30 audioconference about challenging hospital standards.

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