Institute of Medicine Releases Report on End-of-Life Issues

The Institute of Medicine Committee on Approaching Death: Addressing Key End-of-Life Issues has released a new report titled “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life.” The report focuses on several end of life issues, including access to high-quality end-of-life care and the need for more readily available advance care planning.

Notably, the report highlights POLST and includes it in one of the committee’s recommendations. Specifically, the committee suggests that “Actions should … encourage states to develop and implement a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) paradigm program following nationally standardized core requirements.”

Hopefully the report will have an impact on the end-of-life care that is currently provided and adjustments can be made to improve any services that will be carried out in the future. Those going through the end of life care should be treated with respect and dignity, and hopefully, this report can highlight some ways to respect the patient’s wishes.

To read the full IOM report, or to look at specific sections, click here.