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Patient Self-Determination Act

"Patient Self-Determination Act" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

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The purpose of this 1990 federal act is to assure that individuals receiving health care services will be given an opportunity to participate in and direct health care decisions affecting themselves. Under this act, hospitals, health care agencies, and health maintenance organizations are responsible for developing patient information for distribution. The information must include patients' rights, advance directives, living wills, ethics committees' consultation and education functions, limited medical treatment (support/comfort care only), mental health treatment, resuscitation, restraints, surrogate decision making and transfer of care. (from JCAHO, Lexicon, 1994)


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