Monday, February 2, 2009
California has a new law that requires doctors to discuss end-of-life treatment options with terminally ill patients. The San Diego County Medical Society is trying to educate physicians about the new protocols. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.
Doctors are learning about a new tool that gives dying patients more control over their end-of-life care.
It's called Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. The form is filled out with the patient's input.
Dr. Lynette Cederquist is leading the education effort in San Diego. She says the tool contains very specific medical directions.
Dr. Lynette Cederquist : If I become ill, I do not want to be coded, I do not want antibiotics. I don't want artificial nutrition, hydration. And it's actually a physicians order.
That order stays with patients wherever they get care.
Dr. Cederquist says the goal is to see the form in widespread use in San Diego within two years.
Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.