A new health care directive was recently introduced in Indiana: known as the Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) form, it is designed to help people retain more control over their medical care at the end of life.
The POST form addresses the issue of whether or not cardio-pulmonary resuscitation should be used as well as direction regarding other life-sustaining measures such as feeding tubes, intubation and the use of antibiotics. The POST form may be used in addition to–or in place of–a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.
A health care professional can provide a POST form to anyone with an advanced, progressive medical condition who enters a hospital, nursing home, in-home hospice program or a hospice facility. The form is printed on brightly colored paper so it is easily distinguished in the medical record; it also travels with the patient if he or she moves from one health setting to another. POST forms may be changed or revoked at any time.
While the POST form helps the medical community understand a patient’s end-of-life wishes at a glance, it is NOT a substitute for a professionally-prepared living will and durable power of attorney for health care. These documents together provide a more comprehensive view of health care wishes, preference for organ donation and more. For more information on the POST form and other advance directive options, please log on to the Indiana State Department of Health.