November 3, 2014 – A Better End


Anchor lead: Can a book by Maryland delegate Dan Morehaim help inform your end of life choices?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Representative Dan Morehaim, an emergency medicine physician and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, strives to help people inform their end of life choices in his book ‘A Better End.’  Morehaim says for those who would like to address medicine’s always advancing technology, there’s another document they should consider.

Morehaim: In Maryland we have a MOLST from, m-o-l-s-t, medical orders for life-sustaining treatment.  In other states it’s called POLST, physician orders, but in Maryland it’s because nurse practitioners can complete the form. An advance directive is fairly general, how much care do you want? And who can make decisions if you can’t? MOLST gets very specific about what exactly to do. It’s a medical order it’s not completed by the patient, it’s completed by the physician in consultation with the patient. But it gets into very specific things, do you want antibiotics? Do you want major surgery? Do you want major diagnostic testing?   :32

Recent Institute of Medicine activity has once again brought the issue of advance directives to the forefront.  At Johns Hopkins,  I’m Elizabeth Tracey.