That ‘Living Will’ You Signed? At the ER, It Could Be Open to Interpretation

June 14, 2018

(Kaiser Health News) – A new report out of Pennsylvania, which has the nation’s most robust system for monitoring patient safety events, treats mix-ups involving end-of-life documents as medical errors — a novel approach. It found that in 2016, Pennsylvania health care facilities reported nearly 100 events relating to patients’ “code status” — their wish to be resuscitated or not, should their hearts stop beating and they stop breathing. In 29 cases, patients were resuscitated against their wishes. In two cases, patients weren’t resuscitated despite making it clear they wanted this to happen. The rest of the cases were “near misses” — problems caught before they had a chance to cause permanent harm.