Monday, 1 July 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - The POLST Is Being Delivered

Attention America, be on your guard...
The Communitarian Directive is here.

This is Stateline -

New End-Of-Life Document

A new end-of-life document, more explicit and binding than a DNR and advanced directives, is designed to clarify patients’ wishes—and spare caregivers such as Fera from facing such wrenching choices.
A “physician order for life-sustaining treatment” (POLST) is a medical order, signed by a doctor or other authorized medical provider. The product of a conversation between patient and provider, a POLST specifies a patient’s goals and desires as death closes in. Unlike a traditional DNR, it covers such medical interventions as resuscitation, hospitalization, use of antibiotics, hydration, intubation and mechanical breathing ventilation.
Without much opposition or attention, many states have adopted POLSTs. This year, Indiana and Nevada approved legislation to allow their use, leaving only seven states and the District of Columbia without POLSTs in at least some stage of development.
They tend to come in garish colors—neon pink, orange, and green, for example—so they stand out among other documents in a home. People are encouraged to put them on their refrigerators, and paramedics are trained to look for them there. In Oregon, where POLSTs originated in the early 1990s, they are recorded in an electronic registry so first responders can access them online. Other states are moving in the same direction.
Disability rights groups have focused on the issue of patient signatures. Without one, according to Diane Coleman, president of the disability rights group Not Dead Yet, “How do we know the POLST medical order actually reflects the desires of the individual?”  Coleman worries that depending on how POLSTs are presented, they can make life-sustaining treatments—such as the use of feeding tubes—seem unbearable, even though many disabled people are able to live full lives because of them.Disabled rights groups lobbied successfully against POLST in Connecticut this year.
The mindset of the first responder is being fundamentally altered forever.
Doctors are being skilled in grooming patients to downsize their care expectations.

Further reading -

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