Indiana has revised the 2013 version of the Indiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) form. The POST form is a tool that a patient can use for the treatment of certain medical conditions and their preferences for how that treatment be carried out. The POST form is only available to a “qualified person”. A “qualified person is defined as an individual who has at least one (1) of the following:
(1) An advanced chronic progressive illness;
(2) Advanced chronic progressive frailty;
(3) A condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty:
(a) there can be no recovery; and
(b) death will occur from the condition within a short period without the provision of life prolonging procures; or
(4) A medical condition that, if the person were to suffer cardiac or pulmonary failure, resuscitation would be unsuccessful or within a short period the person would experience repeated cardiac or pulmonary failure resulting in death.
The revised form permits the patient or Health Care Representative (“HCR”) to make additional orders regarding care beyond the four previous provisions regarding scope of treatment. Those provisions remain unchanged. A patient under the POST form may make a designation for preferences regarding Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), medical interventions, use of antibiotics and the administration of artificial nutrition.
The previous version of the POST form allowed a patient to appoint a HCR. The new form no longer allows the patient to appoint a HCR. A legally appointed HCR may complete a POST form for an individual as well. Since the POST form is only available to those “qualified individuals” and is only applicable to certain medical situations it is still important that an individual appoint a HCR and explore other forms of advanced directives. A HCR may be granted broader powers to make medical decisions regarding all medical issues not just those covered by the POST form.