Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Information

2012 Utah Law Review 1329 (2012)


This Article explores the guardian’s role in making, or assisting the ward to make, health care decisions, and provides an overview of existing standards and tools that offer guidance in this area. Part II outlines briefly the legal decisions and statutory developments assuring patient autonomy in medical treatment, and shows how these legal texts apply to and structure the guardian’s role as health care decision-maker. Part III examines the range of legal and practical approaches to such matters as decision-making standards, determining the ward’s likely treatment preferences, and resolving conflicts between guardians and health care agents appointed by the ward. Part IV offers a general road map for legal and ethical decision-making in the health care arena. Finally, Part V offers scenarios based on real-life stories to illustrate how these standards and tools can guide guardians towards appropriate decisions in particular cases.