What is the Indiana POST document?

by Grace Blanchard RN, CHPN

Indiana’s Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) legislation was signed into law in July, 2013.  POST is a new document that allows patients to make specific decisions related to medical interventions and treatments.  POST is not a living will, which states a patient’s wishes, but to make those wishes actionable.  When it is signed by the patient and the physician, it is a legal document that travels with the patient.

POST is not for healthy patients.  POST is for those patients who have advanced chronic progressive illness or frailty; patients with a terminal condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, there can be no recovery and death will occur within a short period without life-prolonging procedures.  Patients with conditions where resuscitation would be unsuccessful or where death would be unsuccessful or where death would occur in short period of time from repeated cardiac or pulmonary failure; or patients with a life expectancy of less than six months.

Ideally, a physician would go through the form with a patient, section, explaining how each intervention or treatment would relate to that patient’s unique clinical situation.  If necessary, the form can also be explained by a nurse, social worker, or chaplain.  If the patient is unable to make decisions, a legally designated representative can sign the form.  The form is not complete, or a true legal document, until it is signed by a physician.

To get more information and to download the form, go to http://www.in.gov/isdh/25880.htm


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I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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