Rights and Documents Matrix

Use this matrix to describe different rights and legal documents pertaining to the aging population. Each box should contain 50 to 100 words.

Legal Document Description Rights Associated Who it Affects and How
Example:Living will

Example:A legal document in which a person expresses in advance his or her wishes concerning the use of artificial life supportor other medical treatments

To be referred to should the person be unable to communicate such wishes at the end of life

A living will usually goes into effect only when two physicians certify that a patient is unable to make medical decisions.

Example:This document serves to protect the right of self-determination, including autonomy, personal choice and decision making, and independence of the individual.

This helps to protect the rights and wishes of the individual even if he or she is no longer competent, others have a different opinion, or the individual has no one to make decisions on his or her behalf.

Example:Individual: Allows for the honoring and protection of their wishes concerning care at the end of life

Physicians or providers of care: Wishes of the patient may or may not align with the provider’s opinion for care or general care practices.

May involve ethical or moral dilemmas

Conflict sometimes occurs between patient wishes and family wishes.

Physician is in the middle

Family: May or may not agree with their loved one’s choices or decisions

May lead to emotional strain and a fight to have living will overturned or nullified (legal battle)

Durable Power of Attorney

Advance directive

Do not resuscitate (DNR)

Informed consent


HIPAA 1996

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