Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No Aid in Dying In CT This Year

The Public Health Committee of the Connecticut Legislature has no plans to bring an Oregon-style bill for Aid-in-Dying (aka physician-assisted suicide) to the floor of the legislature for a vote, in spite of 61% public support for the bill. Serious opposition by religious groups and by disability activists have kept legislators from moving the bill forward. But, the failure of the Aid-in-Dying bill seems to have resulted in some substitute enthusiasm for a Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) bill for Connecticut. (Some states call MOLST "POLST," for Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment. It's the same thing.) Under MOLST, terminally-ill patients and their physicians can frame orders to be entered onto the patients chart, from "do everything" to orders restricting intubation, antibiotics, resuscitation, ventilation or artificial feeding; such orders would be legally binding on all caregivers. It's like an advance directive on steroids, because it's both an expression of the patient's desires and a physician's medical order in the patient's chart.


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