Making Wishes Known for End-of-life Care

Posted on 03/15/2013

Omaha World-Herald: It’s right there on the side of his refrigerator, in a little plastic sleeve. Dr. Byron Oberst, a retired pediatrician, signed a form saying that he doesn’t want CPR if his heart stops. If emergency medical crews come into his apartment in his west Omaha independent living center, they can find it along with his medical history, medications and emergency contacts … Some states have what are called Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms, said Helen Chapple, an assistant professor in the Creighton University School of Nursing. Such forms are a complement to advance directives and are more specific, outlining preferred medical interventions and artificially administered nutrition options. The person’s physician then signs off on the orders.

Chapple said a group at Creighton is trying to come up with a standardized form that could be used statewide. People also can review the online “starter kit” of questions put together by the Conversation Project, an effort to get people to talk about their end-of-life wishes.

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