Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, have become a staple in care for the fragile or seriously ill. They document in detail what kind of medical treatments patients want — or don’t want — at the end of life. Nearly every state in the US has a program; dozens are established or developing. But in Oregon, organizers have taken a step to ensure that final medical wishes are honored

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One group of doctors, represented by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommends yearly pelvic exams for all women 21 years of age and older, whether they have symptoms of disease or not. In March, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded there just wasn’t adequate evidence to recommend for or against annual exams

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Not long ago, a frail-looking elderly patient appeared at my cardiac health clinic with a file full of hospitalizations stemming from a heart attack years before… I saw that a previous doctor had written “DNR” — do not resuscitate — in his chart, so I asked him to confirm his wishes. No, he said, to my surprise. He actually wanted to be a “full code”

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