Military Law Review
While the litigation in the Terri Schiavo case is an extreme example of what can go wrong in the health care decision-making process, it highlights the importance of advance medical directives (AMD) in helping to ensure patient autonomy during end-of-life medical treatment. Unfortunately, large segments of society, to include the military, are still unclear about the role of AMDs in patient care. Thus, this article provides a broad overview of AMDs and their legal applications with a particular emphasis on expanding their use in the military community. This article begins with a discussion of living wills and durable powers of attorney (DPOAs), demonstrating how each one individually and or combined with the other form the component parts of an AMD. The second section of this article briefly explores the legal bases supporting AMDs. The third section provides a history of AMDs in the military followed by recommendations on how to better implement and craft AMDs; including proposed changes to the two Department of Defense (DOD) directives that address AMDs. The article concludes with a model AMD.
All articles are works of the United States Government in which no copyright subsists.
The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School
Place of Publication
Hoffmeister, Thaddeus A., "The Growing Importance of Advance Medical Directives in the Military" (2003). School of Law Faculty Publications. 26.