Cutler and Yaw Introduce Legislation to Represent Patients’ Wishes for End-of-Life Care
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), with the Pennsylvania Medical Society, today announced legislation to better translate the health care wishes of patients with serious health conditions into medical orders.
“Through the loss of my parents, it became clear to me how important it is that an individual’s preferences for care be respected – not only for the benefit of the individual, but also for his or her loved ones,” Cutler said. “Knowing that those desires were carried out can provide peace for family members during a challenging and emotional time.”
The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Program is a voluntary process designed to improve the quality of care people receive at the end of their lives by turning patient goals and preferences for care into medical orders.
As a POLST form is completed only after a discussion of end-of-life choices between a patient or his or her legal decision maker and physician, the bill would enable patients to pre-plan some aspects of their care.
“With the passage of this bill, an individual’s wishes regarding treatment would be applicable in emergency medical services, health care facilities, home care and hospice settings. Advance directives often only identify a surrogate health care decision maker and lack specificity regarding a patient’s preferences should unforeseen medical conditions arise,” explained Pennsylvania Medical Society President Charles Cutler, MD, MACP.
POLST forms are currently available in the Commonwealth, but do not permit direct action as a medical order can.
For more information about Cutler and his legislative priorities, please visit RepCutler.com
Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans