End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Oregon End-of-Life Care Program Spreads, Report Findsby Sonja

Back

By Nick Budnick
The Oregonian
September 20, 2012

An Oregon effort to ensure people near the end of life receive the care they want continues to spread across the country, according to a new report.

The Oregon Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program, created two decades ago and put into state law by the Legislature in 2009, has been adopted by 15 states and is under consideration in 28 others, according to the report, prepared by the Retirement Research Foundation and the Archstone Foundation.

That’s an increase just over last year. Then, the program, which includes an electronic registry of detailed end-of-life care instructions, had been adopted in only 12 states.

The report, which advises other states on lessons learned, will formally be released Monday, Oct. 1, but a draft copy has already been released by Oregon Health & Science University, which houses the POLST program.

It recaps the accomplishments of the program, which has been used by 88,000 Oregonians. On average, the registry receives 3,500 to 4,000 new medical-instruction forms each month.

The new report follows other research conducted on the program, which has received national attention. What follows are links to some past coverage and related resources.

End-of-life care: an Oregon innovation helps people avoid unwanted interventions (The Oregonian)
Undesired treatments such as breathing machines, CPR and dialysis were withheld as requested 94 percent of the time, in a study of 870 nursing home residents in Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Who uses end-of-life care form? (The Bulletin)
Oregon researchers recently released data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing characteristics of people who filled out a POLST form.

Oregon program for advanced illness care succeeds, spreads, report says (The Oregonian)
An Oregon program to improve care for very ill people has taken hold in 12 states and is being pursued in most others. But it continues to face challenges, including in Oregon, according to a new report.

Oregon Emphasizes Choices At The End Of Life (New Hampshire Public Radio)
A two-page form created in Oregon is providing insight into how people want to be cared for at the end of their lives. And the so-called POLST form — short for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment — offers far more detailed options than a simple “do not resuscitate” directive does.