STATEHOUSE (Jan. 23, 2018) — The House of Representatives advanced State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer’s (R-Beech Grove) legislation on Monday to ensure the wishes of patients suffering from a serious illness are honored.
A physician order for scope of treatment, or POST form, details end-of-life care plans agreed upon by a patient and their physician. This legal document is binding and enforceable during medical emergencies, even if the patient is incapacitated. Current law requires a doctor’s signature for a POST form to be enforceable. Under Kirchhofer’s proposal, an advanced practice nurse or physician assistant could also implement POST forms in collaboration with a patient. This legislation would also allow POST forms to be electronically signed.
“It’s critical we establish procedures to ensure patients receive the medical care they want even if they can no longer speak for themselves,” said Kirchhofer, chair of the House Committee on Public Health. “In medical emergencies, every second is crucial. This legislation would empower more medical professionals, including advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, to discuss these serious matters with a patient and agree upon clear guidelines for their end-of-life care, such as a do-not-resuscitate order.”
Additionally, Kirchhofer’s legislation would align Indiana law with several other states, allowing POST forms to apply across state lines. This proposal would also define a priority order or hierarchy for those authorized to provide consent, such as family members, in the event the patient is incapacitated. Kirchhofer said creating a priority order would prevent the waste of time and resources if a specific family member cannot be located or consensus cannot be reached among close family members.
House Bill 1119 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about this legislation.
Rep. Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) represents House District 89,
which includes portions of Marion County.
A high-resolution photo of Kirchhofer can be downloaded by clicking here.
PICTURED: State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) presents her legislation on the House floor Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Kirchhofer’s legislation would ensure the wishes of patients suffering from a serious illness are honored in the event they are incapacitated during a medical procedure. House Bill 1119 can now be considered by the Senate.