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Advance Directive

Err on the Side of the Patient

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 11.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

A Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment is a legal document that is signed by a physician or nurse practitioner, outlining the type of medical care her patient should be given if critically ill. Unlike a DNR, which is active only for a particular hospitalization, the POLST is valid anywhere and anytime, unless the patient rips it up.

Pro-Choice to the End: Taking More Control of Your Final Days

Steve Heilig | Posted 01.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Steve Heilig

Even if your state does not (yet) have a POLST option, consider documenting your preferences using other forms, like a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, and the like.

Advance Care Planning Affects the Smallest and Biggest Decisions

Mary F. Mulcahy | Posted 02.14.2013 | Healthy Living
Mary F. Mulcahy

The barriers to effective advance care planning are numerous. It is imperative that we, as patients, health care providers and members of society, overcome these barriers and remain active in pursuing our personal values and goals.

Uninformed Consent, Unshared Decision-Making in the ICU

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 11.10.2012 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

Sadly, informed consent and shared decision-making, the twin pillars of patient-centered health care, aren't the rock-solid structures we would hope for. That's the lesson of a new study in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.

When Wishes Are Fishes

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 06.23.2012 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

How do we get doctors to honor our wishes at the end of life? Most recommend preparing an advance directive, and I'm no exception. These documents are not infallible, but they are the best things we've got going for us when we can't speak for ourselves.

Palliative Care Information Act at the Bedside: Achieving Truly Informed Consent

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 09.20.2011 | New York
Barbara Coombs Lee

New York has a new law, called the Palliative Care information Act (PCIA). It's simple, and short, and outlines a specific standard for doctors who ca...