Can my healthcare professionals refuse to follow my advance directive?

Your advance directive should outline your wishes, but your doctors are not obligated to follow it. If your doctor has a conscientious objection to one or more of your instructions, he or she is not required to follow it. However, the doctor should transfer you to another provider who will comply.

The best way to ensure compliance with your wishes is to speak to your doctor and healthcare team ahead of time and make sure they understand your advance directive and agree to follow it. Your family and healthcare agent can also help ensure your wishes are followed, provided you supply them with the most up-to-date copy of your advance directive and talk to them about your specific wishes in advance.

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