Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Advancements in health care have resulted in elaborate treatments all over the world and contributed to problems at times for the terminally ill who need palliative care. Futile treatments have demonstrated to defuse the symptoms of the disease without curing. In such scenarios physicians only prolong life of patients, keeping them away from dying peacefully and depriving them from quality of life. In this context, families exhaust their financial and material resources for the treatment of their loved ones without any substantial results. Health care systems are passionate about prolonging life and are ignoring the component of caring by disregarding the patient's rights. There are no existing policies about Advance Directives (ADs) in Pakistan and many other Asian countries, which result in ethical dilemmas among nurses and physicians. Thus, the decisions to limit the treatments such as ADs are needed in this age of modern medical technology. In this paper the author walks the audience through a scenario where she felt a dire necessity for a policy of ADs in an Asian country like Pakistan. This position paper reveals the ethical dilemma that is encountered, the position taken, supported by the ethical principles, the arguments, counter arguments and the justification for having the policy of ADs. Lastly, the final position has been stated and recommendations to implement the policy have been elaborated.

Publication (Name of Journal)

i-manager’s Journal on Nursing