Limited‐Treatment Policies in Long‐Term Care Facilities

Steven H Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two‐thirds of the long‐term care facilities in Minnesota accept do‐not‐resuscitate (DNR) orders and 73% accept care plans to limit medical treatment. The major objectives for limited‐treatment plans cited by the 16.3% of facilities with administrative protocols for such plans was to provide for the resident's physical and emotional comfort and dignity. Nearly half of the protocols said limited treatment plans were intended to limit emergency care or hospitalization or to allow death to occur. Protocols advocated the alleviation of physical discomfort, anxiety, and social isolation. Tube feedings were not recommended when oral feeding became impossible. Airway suctioning, oxygen, or antibiotic treatment was suggested only as needed to alleviate suffering. Only a fourth of the protocols described a primary role for the resident in these decisions. This study demonstrates that nursing homes are developing administrative protocols for the formulation of limited‐treatment plans and suggests that model policy statements describing key decision‐making principles, issues, and procedural safeguards could play a constructive role in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-711
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1985

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