Join Us In Thanking South Carolina Elected Officials For Empowering Patients With POST

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    Earlier this year, the South Carolina General Assembly passed the Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) Act.

    This change provides seriously ill patients with a portable and enforceable physician-signed medical order that directs their health care wishes when they cannot communicate for themselves.

    It was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster and took effect on May 24, 2019.

    What Is POST?

    POST orders, when properly applied, empower seriously ill patients to choose what medical care they desire — and they facilitate meaningful discussions that should occur between patients, families, and their health care team.

    While POST does not replace an advance directive or trump a health care power of attorney document, it does provide guidance to providers as an actionable medical order for a patient’s wishes.

    This is a very important tool as we mature our state’s Advance Care Planning (ACP) efforts.

    In addition, POST reminds the health care community to honor patient’s wishes during times of serious illness, and allows directives to be communicated efficiently across all care settings.

    Why This Matters

    In all states in the U.S., people can complete advance directives that appoint a person to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are unable to speak for themselves. In South Carolina, this is called a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA).

    People can also complete an advance directive that can guide the decision-making of physicians and hospital staff when a person is terminally ill and death is imminent. In South Carolina, this is called a declaration of desire for a natural death, frequently called a Living Will.

    The limitation of a Living Will is that, while it indicates a person’s wishes if they cannot speak for themselves, it is not a physician order. Further, the patient’s condition may not allow for the time needed to properly review the document. The POST form is a way around those limitations.

    POST documents a seriously ill person’s goals of care into a medical order in a highly visible, portable way… prior to a crisis situation. For a patient with an advanced serious illness who arrives at an emergency department in crisis, the POST form offers a faster, more effective way to communicate with the physician.

    Say “Thanks”

    Thank you S.C. leaders for making advance care planning a priority

    All states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia are either using some version of POST or preparing to use one. Thanks to our elected leaders and the hard work of so many dedicated health care professionals, South Carolina is one of them.

    Will you join us in thanking our elected leaders for bringing POST to all of South Carolina?

    There were many individuals and organizations that played a critical role in making this idea a reality.

    Thank you to each and every one of you, particularly the S.C. Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill.

    We wish to specifically thank Governor McMaster and every member of the South Carolina General Assembly who stepped up and helped us get this done. It was a long time in the making.

    And thank YOU for taking time to keep engaged on this important issue.

    Thank you for making advance care planning a priority.