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Think ahead about final care

People are objecting to the “counseling” provision in the proposed health plan. This counseling would simply be asking people if they wanted to fill out a POLST form (Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment).

This form asks you to specify if you want certain very unpleasant measures taken to prolong your life when you body can no longer go on. You can specify if you only want comfort measures to be kept as comfortably as possible until death arrives, as it will for all; or you can ask that everything possible be done to prolong your life, which may include intubation, where they use machinery to breathe for you and a tube is jammed in your mouth.

If people really saw how we treat the dying among us, they would all rush to fill out a POLST form. Mine is posted on my refrigerator where, hopefully, it can be found when I need to use it.

Dorothy E. Carter