You may have heard of the recently passed (July 7th 2020) Oregon law 1606 which “Prohibits hospital from conditioning admission or treatment, or suggesting that treatment is conditioned, on patient having POLST or executing advance directive or other instruction regarding administration, withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining procedures or artificially administered nutrition and hydration.”
In order to help with potential confusion regarding SB 1606 and how this would affect the emergency department, we’ve put together the following resources.
The legislative intent was to prohibit coercing a patient with disabilities into signing a POLST or an advance directive as a condition of providing care. This would be an EMTALA violation.
OR ACEP’s chief question: Does this bill prohibit in any way that the standing advance directive/POLST be honored for people with disability who present at the emergency department?
The answer: No. SB 1606 does not prohibit honoring the instructions of a standing directive/POLST order. The Oregon Health Authority External Relations director confirmed this with the Department of Justice.
Below are some fact sheets for EDs, please feel free to share with your provider networks
Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST®):
Guidelines on POLST Use for Persons with Significant Disabilities who are
Now Near the End of Life Download