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On Sunday, the issue of a patient's right to die moves out of the sensational headlines and into administrative reality as medical providers begin complying with new federal laws.
As of Dec. 1, hospitals, nursing homes, health maintenance organizations, hospices and home health agencies around the country will have to ask patients if they have an "advance directive," or written guidelines governing their medical care. If a patient does not, providers must supply information concerning the right to enact a "living will" or a power of attorney regarding medical care.
"With all the technology and medical advances we have there are many ways a patient's life can be …