Advance Care Planning
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging (NIA) funds research on advance care planning, including examining why people complete advance directives and the effect of these directives on end-of-life care. In one study, scientists found that advance directives can make a difference, and people who document their preferences in this way are more likely to receive the care they prefer at the end of life than people who do not. Some states are also using an advance care planning form known as POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) or MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). Once signed by a doctor, these forms have the force of any other medical order. A new study shows that hospice residents with POLST forms are less likely to receive unwanted life sustaining treatments when compared to patients with traditional Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders (http://www.ohsu.edu/polst/). For more information go to https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/advance-care-planning.