The current discussion focuses on the end-of-life care case, where a 43-year-old African American male, Roger, is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and renal failure. Roger’s medical power of attorney lists his wife as his agent but is not signed by two witnesses. As a social worker, my task would be to provide family support, address bioethical considerations, comment on legal issues, promote reasoned decision-making, and others (Colon & Wladkowski, 2019). This approach would ensure that Roger’s wife would have all the required information to make a decision regarding his further treatment.
When it comes to the services that I might offer to the family under consideration, a few options could be used. Firstly, counseling could help me provide Roger’s wife with the required information, including ethical, financial, and legal issues (Colon & Wladkowski, 2019). Secondly, since the medical power of attorney was not properly signed, it would be beneficial to organize communication sessions to encourage the expression of feelings, which is necessary to find more details about Roger’s wishes (Colon & Wladkowski, 2019). These two steps could contribute to better end-of-life care decisions.
It is evident that Roger’s wife could have difficulties understanding all the legal issues surrounding the case, and specific methods and practices would help me educate her. Firstly, I would ensure that information would be presented in different formats and in the form of dialogue (Cagle & Kovacs, 2009). Secondly, I would comment on what rights her husband had (Cagle & Kovacs, 2009). Finally, I would encourage Roger’s wife to spill her heart to understand her feelings and emotions.
The medical power of attorney and living will are the most common advance directives. The purpose and benefit of medical power of attorney are “to ensure that an individual’s wishes are followed in the event that he or she is not able to make his or her own decisions” (Colon & Wladkowski, 2019, p. 578). If an individual is included in a medical power of attorney, they should protect the patient’s rights and wishes if there is disagreement within the healthcare team or with other family members. Simultaneously, a living will is when a patient directly states their wishes regarding life-prolonging treatment to a physician or healthcare team (Colon & Wladkowski, 2019). This directive is necessary to ensure that a patient will not be treated against their will.
Since Roger’s power of attorney was not correctly signed by two witnesses, it is challenging to state whether I would advocate for the patient’s wife. According to the Patient Self-Determination Act, all newly admitted patients should be asked whether they have any healthcare directives (Colon & Wladkowski, 2019). This information stipulates that there should have been additional information regarding Roger’s directives, and this data might help me select particular behavior.
Cagle, J. G., Kovacs, P. J. (2009). Education: A complex and empowering social work intervention at the end of life. Health and Social Work, 34(1), 17-27. Web.
Colon, Y., & Wladkowski, S. P. (2019). End-of-life care. In S. Gehlert & T. Browne (Eds.), Handbook of health social work (3rd ed., pp. 569-584). Wiley.