The Unrepresented Patient

Deciding for another is difficult. One of the most challenging ethical issues faced in clinical practice today is deciding for unrepresented patients – patients who have no advance directive or no family and  friends who can make decisions on behalf of the patient (surrogate decision makers) when the patient cannot speak for themselves. The moral distress of clinicians can run high especially given the diverse and complex national legal environment surrounding these patients. Our expert clinical and legal guests, experienced in the daily life of the healthcare environment, will offer insight into these challenges and offer both an overview and practical solutions being tested today.

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