Lawrence M. Friedman

Lawrence M. Friedman

Lawrence M. Friedman

  • Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law
  • Room N359, Neukom Building


  • Law & Society
  • Legal History
Students in Classroom

Policy Practicum: Endstage Decisions: Health Directives in Law and Practice

Medical decisions toward the end of life can be crucial and difficult for patients, doctors, and the families of patients. Law and medicine have been struggling to find ways to strike a balance between what the patients might want (or say they want), and what makes medical, economic, and ethical sense. People have been encouraged to fill out “Advanced Health Care Directives,” which give guidance to doctors and surrogates (usually a family member) on what to do when faced with end-of-life dilemmas. Another form, adopted in just over half the states (including California) is the POLST form (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). The two types are supposed to complement each other, but they are different in important ways.

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