On Tuesday, February 19, Rep. Gary Clary (R – Pickens) introduced H.4004, the “Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) Act” that would allow POST forms signed by physicians to govern the administration of life-sustaining care.
Based on the “the POLST paradigm” that encourages patients to talk extensively with their doctors about what they want from end-of-life care given their prognosis and treatment options, the new form would detail their wishes and serve as medical order even in case of emergency. It would also follow the patient wherever they go in a medical emergency, even if they can’t speak for themselves.
POST forms provide more flexibility than simple advance directives, which aren’t obeyed by emergency responders who are legally obligated to try and save a patient’s life, including all resuscitation measures. Patients can decide they want full treatment, palliative care or something in the middle. The POST form can be changed or voided at any time, and it is fully up to the patient what they want their form to say.
H.4004 has been referred to the Committee on Education and Public Works. SCHA supports the passage of the bill and will be tracking its progress closely over the course of the session.