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POLST and How They Work with Advance Directives

Image care of the POLST website

This blog post is the fourth in a series of guest posts by Arashi about end-of-life care planning and documentation in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day.

POLST forms are another type of end of life planning tool. POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. They're also known as; medical orders on life-sustaining treatment (MOLST), medical orders on scope of treatment (MOST), or physician's orders on scope of treatment (POST). The first POLST program was developed in Oregon in 1991 to create a standardized, easily recognizable, portable document which is designed to be transferable and actionable throughout the entire medical community.

Read more: POLST and How They Work with Advance Directives

This Week in the Movement

Dr. Morris from How to Die in Oregon

Throughout the week, we keep people up-to-date with information about the Death with Dignity movement and other topics related to end-of-life care through Facebook and Twitter. Below are highlights from this week.

Efforts regarding Death with Dignity:

Read more: This Week in the Movement

Board Member Spotlight: Betty Rollin

Betty Rollin

We've spotlighted several of our staff members. Today, we would like to shine the light on one of our board members, Betty Rollin.

Betty Rollin is a TV correspondent, accomplished author, and sought-after speaker. A former correspondent for NBC News, her special reports for Nightly News included a series on the Native Americans of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, which won both the duPont and Emmy awards. She now contributes reports for PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

Rollin is the author of seven books, including First, You Cry, a moving story—the first of its kind—about her breast cancer and mastectomy. Published in 1976 and re-published in 2000 in honor of the author's 25th "cancer anniversary", it received wide critical acclaim and was made into a television movie starring Mary Tyler Moore as Ms. Rollin.

Read more: Board Member Spotlight: Betty Rollin

A Social Worker's Role at End of Life

Kevin Kozin, MTS, LICSW

Kevin Kozin, MTS, LICSW, is a clinical social worker and therapist and formerly worked as a hospice social worker. He's currently a board member of the National Association of Social Workers in Massachusetts and serves as the Chair of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee. He works with adolescents, adults, couples, and families through psychotherapy and grief counseling, which lead to healing results.

The New England Journal of Medicine published an article this April titled, "Implementing a Death with Dignity Program at a Comprehensive Cancer Center". This well-written article takes a candid look at the demographics and experience of a particular cancer center in Washington state, where the Death with Dignity Act has been in effect since March, 2009. Death with Dignity refers to the Washington and Oregon statutes which allow individuals who have six months or fewer to live (as determined by two physicians) and have the capacity to make medical decisions the option to request prescribed medication which allows for a peaceful and painless death.

Read more: A Social Worker's Role at End of Life

Vermont House Human Services Committee Advances Death with Dignity

All the recent legislative activity surrounding Death with Dignity shows Americans are ready for a meaningful conversation about how we die. Your support makes it possible for us to work with people throughout the US to advance these discussions.

Some highlights:

Read more: Vermont House Human Services Committee Advances Death with Dignity


Defend dignity. Take action.

You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

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