Is there a way to make sure a hospital/doctor can’t deny after the fact that they knew of my Advance Directive before giving emergency treatment?

UPDATED: Nov 1, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is there a way to make sure a hospital/doctor can’t deny after the fact that they knew of my Advance Directive before giving emergency treatment?

I understand that a doctor does not need consent to do surgery on an unconscious patient after an accident for instance. When I did some research, I found that, according to a specific limitation to the ‘Emergency Exception’, “no treatment can be given if the doctor knows or has reason to know” that I have executed an Advance Directive. Does this apply to any emergency treatment, and is there a way to ensure the hospital can’t deny later on that they knew of my Advance Directive?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The only way to possibly safeguard your desires about the advanced medical directive that you are wriitng about is to have your attorney in fact have it in hand in the event that you are hospitalized and to give it to the medical office or hospital.

The other option is to have the directive on file with all hospitals in your surrounding area where you live. The problem is that the directive that you seem to want as to no medical treatment for an emergency would not be honored by any health care facility in that the request violates public policy.

The advanced directive dealing with not prolonging life is recognized when a treating physician is of the opinion that the person can only survive with life support. Emergency treatment is a different matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption