Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

11. On Thinking about an Advance Care Directive

Everyday Humanism - Dale McGowan

Katrina Scott [+-]
Katrina Scott received her Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and is the Oncology Chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she provides spiritual support to patients, family and staff. She is the author of several articles on the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care (NCP) Clinical Practice Guidelines Domain 5: “Spiritual, Religious and Existential Aspects for Care” (2008) and is dedicated to promoting a multidisciplinary team approach to end-of-life care. Endorsed by the American Ethical Union (Ethical Culture) for Health Care Chaplaincy, Katrina is an Officiant of the Ethical Society of Boston and Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains.


In the United States, approximately half of all patients who die in the hospital are cared for in an ICU within three days of their death. Although how physicians approach decision-making when caring for critically ill patients is inadequately understood, the acknowledged reluctance of physicians to predict death, along with the complementary link between prognosis and therapy, adversely effect decision-making in patient care.Simply put, when given the ability to offer treatment even in “medically futile” cases, the majority of physicians will opt for end-stage therapy over comfort-only measures.The author explores the dilemna faced by many families trying to find their way through the process of choosing and implementing a legally binding advance care directive.

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Scott, Katrina. 11. On Thinking about an Advance Care Directive. Everyday Humanism. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 151-161 Nov 2014. ISBN 9781781790458. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=25881. Date accessed: 14 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.25881. Nov 2014

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