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Patient rights are a controlling force in how health care workers should interact with patients though in real life it doesn't always happen that way. Privacy is a patient right which means that workers cannot give out information to those who have no right to see it. A health care directive binds doctors to follow the patient's wishes, provided that a copy is available. Doctors are trained to preserve life at all costs though that is finally changing to preserving life as the patient wishes. The end of life also has health care workers following the patient's desire to not be revived if death occurs. Health care workers must ask more questions, be aware of what the chart says, follow the health care directive, and consult the family in ways which didn't exist even 20 years ago. Having been an elderly cousin's power of attorney and health care, I could make decisions which eased her suffering, allowed her to live as she wished in her final days, and forced doctors to follow the NO to any more treatment for her which did not ease her pain. This is a timely question as more people will be faced with decisions and getting elderly parents to express their desires.
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