Just four hours earlier, Sallie Cutler had been sharing Mother’s Day lunch with her mom, Alyce Cheatham. Then, that same evening, Cheatham, 96, landed in a Portland, Ore., emergency room, lethargic, unable to speak and paralyzed on her right side by a massive stroke. Cutler now admits her first impulse was to demand action. But
The Delaware Health Information Network, a statewide health information exchange, is implementing an end-of-life registry that captures medical orders that describe the scope of treatment planned for a terminally ill person. The goal is help providers better understand patients’ wishes on how they want to die, and whether treatment should be continued—and under which circumstances—or
Benjamin Franklin famously wrote that “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And yet the inherent optimism of human nature causes us to avoid talking about the inescapable truth of death. Studies have repeatedly shown that while we widely recognize the value in end-of-life consideration and planning, we do not take
OHSU has taken a new step in making sure that end-of-life care wishes of OHSU patients are honored, creating a new feature where health professionals can electronically find any Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST, form in the Oregon POLST registry, regardless of where it was received. “POLST forms allow patients to work with
California Healthline Mary De Freze, 81, has heart problems, chronic lung disease and a history of falling. At the end of her life, De Freze said, she doesn’t want to be in a lot of pain and doesn’t want to be kept alive by machines. Stonebrook Healthcare Center staff helped her put those wishes on
California Health Care Foundation A pilot project to establish an electronic registry for POLST forms in California could enable quick access to this information by emergency responders and others.
The following is a quote from an Emergency Medicine physician I interviewed for a study about palliative care in the emergency department: I had 2 or 3 instances that involved a very angry phone call from a primary care physician or an oncologist, who understandably had had a several month conversation with this patient, finally