Beginning December 1, 1991, federal law required hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers that receive federal funds to inform incoming patients of their rights to consent to or refuse treatment, including their rights under state law to have advance directives. If the hospital or nursing home has no reason to question the document's authenticity, believes the patient is no longer able to participate in medical treatment decisions, and feels the patient advocate is acting consistent with the patient's expressed wishes, the institution would probably have to comply.
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