CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE SERVICES
and
POLST ADVANCE DIRECTIVES
 

 The Announcement of Death to St. Fina
 Dominco Ghirlandaio 1486


A BIOETHICS CONSULT from A PRIEST:
POLST FORMS and INFORMED / PROXY CONSENT


 

I have a question regarding a POLST form. A man had lung cancer and the doctors advised him to not have CPR at the last moment.

 

 


 

 

 


When the doctors were talking to him, the patient was flustered about his situation, not really listening. His wife says that he wanted CPR but did not hear the explanation of what that implies for him - as I learned in your class, his heart would not be the problem, the rest of his body would be, and the CPR would not do any good and just cause him extra pain and cause a scene.

 

 


 

 

 


But the patient did not understand all that, but had just plainly told his wife that he would like CPR with hopes to live longer, but he does not want to live like a vegetable either.

There came a point when the wife had to fill out the POLST and her husband the patient was no longer conscious to be able to talk about whether he wants CPR or not when his heart stops, after being informed of the situation.

 

 


 

 

 


I told the wife that she can still check NO CPR because he gave her the power to make the choice, the doctors do not recommend it, and that his choice was not informed. did I do the right thing here?


 

 

 



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