AARP Releases Report on POLST

AARP released a report about physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST), which is a tool to turn treatment goals of people with advanced progressive illness or frailty into doctors’ orders.  In developing a POLST, a patient with a terminal condition talks with a physician about preferences, which can range from aggressive treatment to limited treatment to comfort care.  At least 12 states have POLST programs in place and most other states are in the planning stage. The report reflects the input of The Arc concerning including the disability community in planning POLST programs, ensuring that adequate safeguards are in place in instances of surrogate decision-making, and providing training to the medical community who often confuse having a disability with end of life issues.

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