New Jersey health officials have created a new form that will give patients with advanced illnesses a standardized way to make their end-of-life treatment wishes part of their medical record.

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More than a dozen other states have already made available similar forms, known as orders for life-sustaining treatment.

New Jersey's "Practitioner Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment" is designed to be filled out jointly by the patient and a doctor or an advanced practice nurse.

Unlike other documents such as advance directives, the new form is a medical order that becomes part of a patient's medical record and is valid in any health care setting. It provides instructions for current treatment.

Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd will unveil New Jersey's form Friday during briefings at the New Jersey Hospital Association in Princeton.


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