Advance directives represent the decisions about medical care and treatment that a patient wishes to receive, if unable to express their will. We evaluated the knowledge of elderly caregivers in a geriatric outpatient clinic (n=66), lecturers (n=60) and medical students (n=72) regarding these directives, the intention to create the document, and the conduct during this situation. The results show that only 20% of the participants knew, or at least have an idea of, what these directives are. The majority of terminally ill patients (72%) preferred to die at home, receiving palliative care; 32% preferred dying in a hospital; and 45% agreed to be taken to an intensive care unit. Only 40% opt for this expression of will, even after explanations. More than half (56%) trust that medical teams will respect their decisions, and 83% trust their family members. It is concluded that the subject should be discussed more in society, especially in the fields of teaching and health care.
Advance directives; Aged; Personal autonomy; Palliative care; Death