Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 to ensure that patients are informed of their rights to express healthcare preferences in advance of loss of capacity. Thus, a patient may elect to forgo cardiopulmonary resuscitation in favor of a treatment approach that favors comfort over survival. Do-not-resuscitate and stratification-of-care forms provide a means for expression of healthcare preferences in hospitals. These forms can often guide the important discussion of healthcare preferences. Unfortunately, no clear standard exists for what should be included in do-not-resuscitate or stratification-of-care forms that institutions seeking to improve in this vital area of practice could use for guidance. Existing forms in use at adult general hospitals throughout Rhode Island were reviewed.

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