New tool lets patients call the shots at end of their lives

Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 10, 2010

A new kind of medical document allows patients to tell their family and doctors exactly what kind of care they want at the end of life. The directive is slowly being adopted at hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices as part of a groundswell within the medical community to give terminally ill patients more control over how and where they die, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Experts say the document—Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, or POLST—and the careful decisionmaking that precedes it lift a terrible emotional burden from patients' families, reports the Tribune.


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