End-of-life Decisions: POLST Provides Peace Of Mind
HARRISBURG, Pa., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Medical blogger Leon Kraybill, MD, CMD, is a geriatrician at Lancaster General Health and a Pennsylvania Medical Society member. In this blog, he writes about end-of-life care and his father's 'Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.'
My father lay unresponsive on the emergency room cart. His normally smiling 94-year-old face was blank. There was no response to my voice or touch. His pulse and blood pressure were worrisome.
My physician brain instinctively realized that he was probably dying. As a son, my heart cried out against the end of life for this vibrant and compassionate man.
Earlier, he and my mother had navigated to services at their long-term care facility. He appeared to fall asleep, did not wake up, and was transported to the emergency room.
It is the phone call no child wishes to receive. I arrived to find my mother at his bedside. Her face told me that she also recognized the seriousness of the situation.
As a geriatrician, I work every day with individuals with changing health. Discussions of disease, functional change, clinical decline and end-of-life care are very common.
I routinely encourage people to consider health options, make treatment choices, and share these through discussion and advance care planning documents. It is easy to give these recommendations to others.
But now it was my father in front of me....
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Medical Society