A loophole in the Washington Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) law needs a quick fix by the Legislature. See http://bit.ly/Wg9hoJd (Seattle Times). I remember when a long-time local resident in her 80s ended up with a broken sternum from CPR years ago. She died a few days later. Those days were very painful. I remember the look on my elderly mother’s doctor’s face when she told him she wasn’t going to sign a POLST form. He went pale as a ghost and persuaded her to sign it.
We all want our loved ones to live forever. My wife and I provided elder care for five relatives over a 13-year period. Each of them wanted to move on when life became too heavy a burden and there was no hope of improvement.
By Robert Hawkinson