Glossary Term

Patient Self-Determination Act


In effect since 1991, the Act gives adults with the capacity to make their own medical decisions the right to make decisions today about health care treatment they would want to receive in the future if they could not communicate what they want at that time. The law requires that hospitals, nursing homes and other health agencies give all patients information about their right to have a legal document called an Advance Directive. See Advance Directive for Healthcare. (OPTN Glossary May 2021)