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Posted on November 27, 2019 at 11:04 AM

Thirteen years ago, Charlotte Azuma signed an advance directive that said she didn’t want doctors to prolong her life if she had an incurable and irreversible condition that would quickly result in death. Azuma’s sister and healthcare agent says that directive means Azuma, who suffers from dementia, should be taken off dialysis, which would end her life.

But Azuma recently told people that she wants to live. Because of this, Queen’s Medical Center is refusing to stop the treatment. What is the right course of action? 

1. If Azuma lacks capacity, then her current statements are not sufficient to revoke the advance directive That is the holding in a recent Dutch euthanasia case. 

2. On the other hand, if Azuma has capacity, then her current statements trump the advance directive under Haw. Rev. Stat. 327E-4 . That was the holding in the Margot Bentley case.

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