California Law Sets Up Process for Spelling Out End-of-Life Care Wishes
Earlier this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed legislation that requires health care providers statewide to comply with patients' end-of-life care wishes as dictated in a form called the Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment, or POLST, the Woodland Daily Democrat reports.
Under AB 3000 by Assembly member Lois Wolk (D-Davis), POLST forms must be treated as physician orders, compelling health care providers and emergency responders to comply with patients' wishes specified on the form.
To complete POLST forms, patients with a serious illness and less than a year to live meet with their physicians to discuss end-of-life care preferences. To be considered valid, physicians must sign the forms.
Fifteen other states have adopted POLST processes (Woodland Daily Democrat, 8/16).