Culturally Appropriate Care Planning for Chinese Culture
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Advance directives are completed by a person when he or she is competent or capable (ie, can understand and appreciate the consequences of treatment decisions), and used at a time when that person becomes incompetent or incapable. Advance directives fall into two categories: instruction directives and proxy directives.
Under the influence of Buddhism, ethnic Chinese people traditionally believe that everything has been predetermined because of karma (cause and effect). The effects of karma can be attributed to an individual’s past life, and the results experienced in the individual’s current life as well as their effects on the next life are referred to as samsara [Hsiung YFY, 2007].
While death remains an inevitable consequence of being born, as such, it is important that human beings recognize its inevitability and plan ahead of a good death. Advance care planning enables patients to assert their care preferences in the event that they are unable to make their own medical decisions.
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