New treatment forms aim to improve end-of-life patient care

Categories: Cox News

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Laura Cox requiring the development of a standardized Physician Ordered Scope of Treatment (POST) form has been signed into law by the governor.

A POST form is an advance care planning tool designed to ensure people forced to make difficult end-of-life medical treatment choices are given the respect they deserve in multiple health care settings. The form guides emergency medical personnel and health care providers in whether to administer life-sustaining measures, such as CPR, intubation, antibiotics and feeding tubes, when the patient is no longer able to do so.

“We must do everything we can to respect patients’ wishes at the most vulnerable time of their lives,” said Cox, of Livonia. “The form ensures people are able to voice their wishes for end of life care before it’s too late.” 

The bill is part of a four-bill, bipartisan package to establish a standard practice for POST forms in Michigan. Twenty-two states have POST programs and 23 have developing programs in the works. Cox’s bill in the package specifically allows a guardian to execute or revoke a POST form on behalf of an individual.

Other bills in the package require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a standardized form, require adult foster care facilities to comply with medical orders provided for on a POST form, and requires health professionals to comply with the most recent order or form when both a DNR order and a POST form exist for a patient.

House Bill 4171 is now Public Act 155 of 2017.

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