There seems to be a growing trend of successful lawsuits alleging that clinicians failed to follow advance directives. I have collected many of those cases here. I discussed those cases in the NY Times, in a bioethics journal, and in a law review.
The most recent case is that of Brenda Grant. She completed an advance directive stating that she should not have treatment to prolong her life. She feared degradation and indignity more than death after seeing her mum lose independence through dementia. (BBC News)
But the George Eliot hospital, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, misplaced the document and she was artificially fed for 22 months. The Hospital Trust admitted liability and in an out-of-court settlement agreed to pay £45,000. In a letter, it stated: “It is accepted that the trust failed to act in accordance with the deceased’s advance directive and failed to store the advance directive in a way that it could easily be noted.”