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More Oregonians Take Control Of Their Deaths With POLST Forms

Linked by Paul Ciano on December 10, 2018

Kristian Foden-Vencil, OPB:

Back in 1993, Oregon was the first state in the nation to introduce the POLST form. It tells your doctor what medical interventions you want at the end of life. For example, many people don’t want to be put on a feeding tube or intubated when they’re dying. They just want pain medication.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University have found that about 45 percent of Oregonians now fill out a POLST form before they die. That’s up from about 30 percent eight years ago.

While the oldest Oregonians increased their POLST usage the most, there was also a rise in POLST use by middle-aged people. The total number of people aged 95 years and older who used POLST forms before death increased 83 percent between 2010–11 and 2015–16, while those aged 45 to 64 used the forms about 19 percent more during the same time.

About 65 percent of Oregonians die at home. That exceeds the American average for deaths at home.

About 60 percent of Americans die in hospice or in a hospital.

Paul Ciano

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