03/16/11 Portland, Ore.
A recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “New efforts to simplify end-of-life care wishes,” explains how a growing number of states are promoting the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program to help guide physicians with a patient's specific instructions.
According to the article a POLST form is “meant to complement advance directives, sometimes known as living wills, in which people state in broad terms how much medical intervention they will want when their condition no longer allows them to communicate.”
In the article, Susan Tolle, MD, Cornelia Hayes Stevens Chair, Professor, Department of Medicine, and Director, OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care, said, “In Oregon, the documents are stored in a state registry so emergency medical technicians as well as hospitals have access to them. States that have adopted the Polst program also have put in place general protections for medical personnel who follow the directives.”
The entire Wall Street Journal article is available online.