The Business Of Dying Essay Research Paper

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The Business Of Dying Essay, Research Paper The Business of Dying Prepared for: Peru State College Business Administration 251: Legal environment and Contract Law Submitted to: Victor F. La Puma April 5, 1998 By Lisa M. Holmes 403 Main Street, box 331 Johnson, NE 68378 402-868-4945 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1Die and Pay Taxes 1 CHAPTER 2The Concept and the Cases3 CHAPTER 3 Legislation and the Health Care Stand9 CHAPTER 4Death a matter Ethics, Religion or Legal Realism 13 CHAPTER 1 Die and Pay Taxes My father once told me the only things we have no choice but to do in this life are to die and pay taxes. Although he may have been correct, we can probably make some educated choices to affect the result of both. Due to the evolution of our society and advances of modern day

medicine, our choices in either of these obligations may be vast but also limited to our knowledge and the planning we engage. Do we have choices? Henry David Thoreau felt that the taxes imposed by a war that he was apposed to were unjust. He refused to pay the taxes and was imprisoned. Thoreau would still have the right today to protest the tax under the philosophy of Natural Law. He would still more then likely be imprisoned if he refused to pay his taxes, but what of his right to die? Without an advanced directive or some sort of living will in place, in our so called advanced culture, Thoreau might not have a choice in his own death. He could easily be kept imprisoned by being kept alive and at the mercy of his keepers. Under today’s legal society the health care provider

may exercise rights as our keeper. Many of us may assume those health care providers, assured that the law permits them to do so, will respect the decisions of their patients, or of their patients appointed decision maker. As a result, most advanced directive laws impose no adverse consequences on providers who refuse to follow the instructions of an advance directive. Some may even hold that noncompliance is legally acceptable. In contrary, in recent years health care providers who apparently impose medical treatment and ignore the instructions in an advance directive may indeed be guilty of medical battery. There are different types of advance directives. The two most common are living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. For example, your living will may say

that you do not want your life prolonged with machines or that you do not want tube feedings or an Intravenous (IV) to provide you with fluids. However, your living will could also say that you want everything possible done to keep you alive. It is important that it be a statement of your intent. A durable power of attorney for health care is a document you sign in which you appoint an agent to make your medical decisions for you if you aren’t able to make them due to incapacitation. Nebraska law recognizes both living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. In order to sign a living will or a durable power of attorney for health care, you must be at least 19 years of age and competent. If younger than 19, you must be either married or divorced and competent.

CHAPTER 2 The Concept and the Cases History maintains that the concept of our right to die has interested philosophers since the time of the Greeks. However, it has only recently become a pertinent social concern. By the 1950’s, advances in medical technology had allowed the terminally ill and permanently unconscious patients to be kept alive dramatically longer than ever before. In the past these individuals died quickly from complications or from an inability to eat and drink. The new-found capability of medical science brought difficult right-to-die issues into the lives of many dying patients, where the course of nature once seemed unalterable. Doctors, patients, and family suddenly needed to decide when a life should end. The terms “living will” and “power of