The ICU nurse asks you to offer an opinion regarding the patient’s capacity to accept or refuse intubation.
While you are there, a family member arrives with a copy of a notarized advance directive, created within the last year, which specifically outlines the patient’s wishes not to be placed on a ventilator or any artificial life support. The ICU staff asks for your input.
What are the ethical issues involved?
What would you do in this situation?
Would your answer differ if the advanced directive was created 7 years ago or greater?
Would your answer differ if there were no advanced directives?