Study Finds Most Doctors Are Confused by Living Wills

Web Admin - Friday, February 24, 2017

Barrington medical malpractice lawyersLiving wills are, quite literally, a matter of life and death. They are also fairly common documents, which means doctors and surgeons should know how to interpret them. Yet a recent study has determined that, much of the time, they interpret these documents incorrectly. Besides having the wishes expressed in their living will violated, what might this mean for patients and their families? The following explains. 

A Closer Look at the Study

Published in the Journal of Patient Safety, the recent study asked 741 physicians from 13 different hospitals to detail how they would treat nine different patients with varying degrees of cardiopulmonary distress, based on what they understood from the patients’ living wills. They only reached a consensus (defined as agreement of 95 percent or higher) in two out of the nine scenarios. If they viewed a one-minute video that expressed each patient’s wishes, along with reading the living will, they reached a 94 percent agreement on a third patient. 

What was most disturbing about this is that, out of those remaining cases, many doctors got the answer wrong. Some would have given too much treatment to a patient who did not want specific life-saving procedures and practices. Others would have given too little treatment, potentially placing the patient at risk for death when they wanted life-saving practices and procedures. The implications of either are concerning, to say the least. 

What Happens When Doctors Misinterpret Living Wills

Patients who have a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) in place typically have one for a particular reason. Perhaps they simply do not want to risk the chances of being left in a vegetative state, or making their families decide when to pull the plug. Others may have chronic and debilitating conditions that are eroding their health. 

In contrast, patients who want certain life-saving procedures and practices have reasons for wanting to live. Maybe they have children, or are simply okay with certain practices but not others. They can express these specific wishes through their living will. Yet, if they are not interpreted correctly, patients and their families may experience a wrongful death, or a situation where they are revived and forced to live in a way they might not wanted (i.e. being in a comatose state or on life support). Both situations could pave the way for a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Contact Our Barrington Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or someone you love has experienced wrongful death or improper treatment, despite having a living will in place, the experienced Barrington medical malpractice attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Dedicated and experienced, we will fight for the most compensation possible in your case. Learn more by calling 847-934-6000 today.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Recent Posts


Family Medical Leave Act Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Barrington personal injury lawyer car accident criminal law bicycle dooring accidents unauthorized overtime Colin H. Gilbert Rolling Meadows criminal attorney employment law Do Not Resuscitate nursing home negligence unpaid overtime Schaumburg estate attorney Barrington estate planning lawyer car crash injuries Palatine elder law attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer murder Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer fiduciary rule Arlington Heights injury attorney Arlington Heights trucking lawyer elder law Inverness traffic law firm Illinois wills and trusts digital evidence Attorney Ken Apicella Palatine real estate lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney Buffalo Grove law firm digital information insurance claim denial caretaker rights Illinois employment law attorneys Illinois living will controlled substance dog bites Palatine punch death cell phone probate claims criminal record life insurance lawyer Class A misdemeanor DMV Des Plaines accident attorney jet ski accidents car crashes slip and fall murder defense insurance claim dispute attorney IRA trust transfer Illinois real estate lawyer civil litigation Illinois employment law firm wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace involuntary manslaughter Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers life insurance estate tax car accident lawyers traumatic brain injuries insurance agents construction accidents Schaumburg insurance lawyers insurance disputes drunk driving FSLA Riverwoods estate planning lawyer insurance denial appeals Palatine traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Inverness personal injury attorney consent to a search GM ignition switches employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Long Grove estate planning insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys filing a medical malpractice claim Des Plaines injury law firm Palatine employment lawyer products liability distracted driving accidents Chicago lawyer Illinois wills and trusts attorneys mortgage anesthesia errors Chicago insurance law firm Crystal Lake traffic attorney Illinois personal injury attorney BAC Palatine civil attorney Chicago trucking accident attorney Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Palatine traffic accidents deed transfer Palatine corporate law attorneys cell phone tower data car accident lawyer civil rights violation Legal Info Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer new real estate form insurance claims llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association pet law Rolling Meadows Attorney Buffalo Grove injury lawyer boating under the influence Illinois medical malpractice lawyers insurance attorney rollover car crashes Schaumburg personal injury lawyers no contest clauses paid sick leave Barrington employment law attorney Illinois will lawyer Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Illinois trusts attorney premises liability Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Des Plaines personal injury attorney real estate closing Illinois business lawyer employee misclassification Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Crystal Lake employment lawyer unpaid assessment Arlington Heights Attorney Chicago estate planning traffic accidents Illinois workers compensation attorney Palatine probate lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer landlord tenant law blended families Palatine injury attorney Barrington real estate lawyer personal injury law firm estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers uninsured motorist Colin Gilbert Long Grove estate planning attorneys traffic violations wage theft underinsured motorist medical malpractice compensation Rolling Meadows traffic attorney IRS commercial leasing severance agreements license suspension Palatine Attorney Illinois estate planning attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney Illinois pet lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm traumatic brain injury car accidents college kids defective products lawyer fiduciary rule delay Des Plaines pet law attorney license reinstatement preventing accidents medical research creditors Palatine business attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Barrington injury attorney Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Rolling Meadows employment law attorney car crash criminal Illinois trucking safety Super Mario condo drug crime denied insurance claim Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Long Grove real estate attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer independent contractor Illinois corporate lawyer Chicago will attorney guardianship attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer Palatine corporate attorney golf accidents privacy agent workers compensation benefits Illinois employment laws Inverness elder law lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm wrongful termination drunk driving statistics Barrington criminal defense lawyer DUI attorney medical malpractice liability Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys ken apicella Illinois employee rights attorney. denied insurance claims distracted driving accident victims PTSD truck collisions meal breaks Deer Park traffic accident attorney privacy laws Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers cell phone accidents Illinois Sales Representative Act estate attorney Inverness real estate attorney digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, fault based insurance bicycle accidents Illinois Smoke Detector Act Palatine workers compensation lawyer employment lawyer Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys investment property Kenilworth estate planning attorney Illinois jet ski accident lawyer loopholes Schaumburg criminal law attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer pedestrian accident probate low-ball insurance settlement Illinois Human Rights Act Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers estate planning lawyer trauma after an accident job lawyers digital assets Landlord Tenant Ordinance drug crimes Inverness DUI lawyer marijuana crimes attorney advance healthcare directive employees real estate leasing Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Inverness corporate attorney DNR Schaumburg real estate lawyer vacation home Arlington Heights employment attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney corporate law Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer brain injury business litigation healthcare claims traffic offenses Schaumburg employment attorney icy parking lots Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer ACA Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney comp time Illinois workplace lawyer Des Plaines DUI attorney Crystal Lake will lawyer employment attorney BUI jet ski Illinois insurance dispute lawyers murder charges disability benefits Arlington Heights insurance attorney estate plan traffic crimes crossover accidents forming a corporation in Illinois Arlington Heights real estate lawyer workplace sexual harassment Illinois estate planning DUI Long Grove real estate lawyer Self-Directed IRA Accounts Thanksgiving problem employees pain and suffering insurance claim denials wrongful death Barrington employment law firm Arlington Heights criminal lawyer life insurance policy Crystal Lake pet attorney Barrington business law firm Chicago insurance claim attorneys Crystal Lake car accident attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights car accident lawyer blood alcohol content Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer in terrorem provision Des Plaines tax law firm taxes Inverness accident lawyer dealing with problem employees employment law, Illinois employment laws estate planning Deer Park medical malpractice attorney rent to own real estate contracts Illinois mortgages holiday statistics traffic laws Illinois speeding lawyer Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois traffic laws Inverness civil lawyer breach of contract Illinois tax attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys civil litigation attorney Illinois LLC creation traffic tickets Deer Park workers compensation lawyer employee discrimination Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney estate planning attorney Fair Labor Standards Act institutional trustee Des Plaines personal injury lawyer real estate Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois probate lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Des Plaines real estate lawyer Illinois insurance lawyer food poisoning workers compensation Mt Prospect Attorney Rolling Meadows tax attorney Affordable Care Act Chicago corporate attorney back injuries Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney home inspection lawyer Illinois personal injury insurance claim dispute Schaumburg car accident attorney power of attorney pedestrian-automobile accident mass shooting Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer living trust operating agreements Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Chicago estate planning lawyer Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney Deer Park employment law attorney Detainer Actions Crystal Lake tax lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney probate lawyer construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation overtime violations estate planning trusts Illinois job attorney vacation home fines Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Schaumburg personal injury attorney Illinois bicycle safety Illinois insurance claims lawyers federal crimes Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer wills and trusts texting while driving Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney real estate lawyer probate process hit and run accident Palatine civil litigation lawyer changes to mortgage law Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Schaumburg wrongful death attorney sole proprietorship Des Plaines claims law firm Illinois red light cameras Illinois rollover accident lawyers head on collisions pregnant women Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows business lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer modern family estate planning Deer Park accident attorney Illinois defective products attorney Chicago employment lawyer Arlington Heights accident attorney pizza emoji pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality personal injury lawyer marijuana landlord Illinois attorney texting and driving Fourth of July Forcible Entry Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act medical malpractice claims dynasty trusts liability claims personal injury accidents reckless homicide Illinois car accident attorney manufacturing medication errors appealing an insurance claim workers comp Illinois employment law Illinois elder law attorney Illinois traffic attorney Illinois home inspection deadly crashes Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer foreclosed rental property swimming pools surgical mistakes caregiver Illinois Crystal Lake injury attorney real estate zoning Rolling Meadows Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer probate claims process Arlington Heights personal injury attorney social media after death eluding a police officer unfunded trust CAM Deer Park personal injury lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, compensatory time Barrington personal injury attorney commercial leases loss of consortium Whistleblower Claims Rolling Meadows employment attorney Illinois DUI attorney insurance negligence Des Plaines real estate attorney life insurance claims senior citizens criminal defense insurance agent negligence School Visitation Rights Act Illinois construction accident attorney Inverness injury lawyer employee rights Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Policy Cancellation elder abuse BAIID personal injury claim special needs trust Barrington employment attorney Exclusions Deer Park traffic lawyer Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyers insurance adjusters Illinois traffic attorneys trusts Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Buffalo Grove real estate attorney natural gas explosion Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument work unions Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Chicago car accident lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Arlington Heights tax lawyer Inverness probate lawyer spinal cord injuries federal regulations for LLCs Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Crystal Lake employment law attorney Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer financial advisors IRELA commercial real estate Illinois employment attorneys dram shop law startup company Illinois insurance attorney Palatine construction attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer auto accidents Deer Park criminal attorney minimum wage Chicago traffic lawyer Illinois lawyer Barrington Traffic Lawyer rollover accidents condo association IRA benefits hiring employees Employment Discrimination Law natural gas accidental death benefits license sexual images Illinois Probate Act of 1975 DUI penalities estate planning for college students Illinois registered agent capital gains tax trucking accident lawyers underage DUI insurance claim delay Rolling Meadows real estate attorney insurance dispute preventable medical errors Palatine drug lawyer motorcycle accident field sobriety test fatal car accidents pet bites ObamaCare healthcare Schaumburg employment law attorneys South Barrington real estate attorney automated cars personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys personal injury real estate attorneys Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Illinois medical malpractice claim Palatine estate planning lawyer Palatine insurance lawyer revenge porn trustee DUI defense owner responsibility homestead rights Illinois driving without license Mount Prospect elder law attorney insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys spinal cord injury Schaumburg estate planning lawyer wills Arlington Heights lawyer Chicago biking tips Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney real estate contract motorcycle accident lawyer personal injury attorney trucking accidents insurance denials Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Schaumburg traffic lawyer Schaumburg residential real estate Arlington Heights TBI attorney Inverness insurance attorney Illinois wrongful termination lawyer living wills small business boating accidents income distribution deducation Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Palatine law firm Des Plaines personal injury lawyers trench injuries Liquor Control Act real estate attorney Barrington workers compensation attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act Illinois criminal defense attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Illinois medical malpractice case Des Plaines irrevocable trust DGAA Barrington drug crime attorney Barrington boating accident attorney driving bike accident defective products clemency rest breaks Barrington estate planning attorney Barrington litigation attorney drug crimes lawyer Palatine trusts lawyer hands free device employment contract Crystal Lake business law attorneys Palatine employment attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney power of attorney for healthcare medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Buffalo Grove employment lawyer denial of life insurance health insurance dispute Crystal Lake insurance lawyer foreclosure expungement Crystal Lake accident attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyer Chicago employment attorney license revocation Barrington criminal lawyer digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers trust payments sexual harassment drug possession traffic deaths TBI Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Illinois real estate whistleblower protections Arlington Heights estate planning attorney installment contracts pedestrian accidents suspended license Illinois injury lawyer first degree murder Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer breathalyzer test product liability rumble strips Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Barrington civil litigation attorney Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Des Plaines civil attorney traffic violations defense insurance dispute attorney Palatine employment law lawyer Schaumburg Attorney liens tax attorney Illinois collections attorney FMLA Palatine personal injury lawyer living trust benefits Illinois employment lawyer Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer drugs underfunded trust Barrington attorney Jay Andrew Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Crystal Lake law firm slip and fall accidents Illinois workers compensation lawyer Illinois small business bad faith insurance claims Palatine criminal defense lawyer Joliet general practice lawyers probate fees Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Des Plaines collections attorney Illinois medical malpractice attorney insurance claim Illinois estate planning law firm Retaliatory Discharge Illinois law Schaumburg corporate attorney Illinois business law atorneys LLCs Schaumburg elder law lawyer Home Sale Contingencies Schaumburg probate attorney boating DUI child safety gift taxes Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers living trust vs will Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Des Plaines insurance attorney car collision internet Transfer on Death Instrument Mount Prospect real estate lawyer right to work Long Grove estate planning attorney attorney fees Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers POA Arlington Heights traffic attorney Chicago attorney Illinois insurance disputes overtime pay speeding Illinois workplace discrimination attorney personal injury claims Illinois employment law attorney medical marijuana