A health professional or caregiver is given tremendous responsibility in taking care of another individual, usually one who is ailing or suffering from an illness. When the health professional deliberately ignores a patient’s request or directive, he or she is said to be committing medical battery. This applies to an advance directive that the patient may provide.
Advance directives often involve requests regarding the nature of treatment that the patient wishes to undergo. However, advance directives may also include requests or statements made in the will of the person. The purpose of respecting such directives is to provide the patient the ability to make choices for his or her own body and treatment.
Advanced directives are given beforehand, thus, the healthcare professional is made known of the wishes and requests of the patients before the professional takes on the responsibility of caring for him or her. It is necessary for healthcare facilities, especially nursing homes and hospitals, to inform patients of their rights and provide them with forms that give them the opportunity to list down whatever advanced directives they may have.
Some of the advanced directives may seem difficult to follow for a health professional due to the fact that it may contrast or contradict what may seem to be beneficial for the patient. However, no matter what the situation, the health professional must always respect the directives. In the event that the health professional does not despite the intention being good, he or she is guilty of medical battery.