WASHINGTON — A patient in a nursing home or hospital is increasingly likely to be asked to sign a form with a benign-sounding name: Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment.
A brightly colored document that is one page, printed on both sides, with boxes to be checked off regarding medical treatment — or the withholding of treatment — the Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (Polst), in an instrument for dealing with end-of-life decisions if the patient is incapacitated.
Once signed, the Polst accompanies the patient to any new medical facility. Some critics say that it is difficult for a patient to make changes in the document.
The Polst was developed in the early...READ MORE