Unrepresented patients (also referred to as unbefriended, patients alone, patients without proxy, or isolated patients) are among the most vulnerable persons entering the health care system. Legislation concerning these patients varies across the United States, resulting in disparities in care. For example, the statutory definition of who is unrepresented varies. In some states, clergy or close friends may act as surrogates; in other states, they cannot do so. Available end-of-life options also differ, creating significant disparities in end-of-life care for these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health(social science)
- Health Policy