2011:  Sustainability and Avoiding Conflicts of Interests

Early on, the Oregon POLST Task Force and subsequently the National POLST Paradigm Task Force (NPPTF) recognized the promises and perils of various funding sources.  Accepting support from private donations and grants limits the ability to raise much needed funds.  Broadening potential funding to include health care industry sources would have been in some ways easier, yet increased the risk of conflicts of interest.  For example, if funding was accepted from a well-meaning insurance company, the public might perceive that the program’s primary goal was to save health care dollars by encouraging the limitation of treatments.  To ensure that any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest were either avoided or managed, in 2009, the NPPTF adopted a policy similar to OHSU’s Center for Ethics' policy, the administrator of the Oregon POLST Program.  In February 2017, the NPPTF adopted a new policy that allows health care industry support.  As of March 2017, the differences in NPPTF and OHSU Center for Ethics policies are being considered by the Center and Oregon POLST Coalition. The Oregon POLST Coalition aims to be transparent and continually monitor conflicts of interest risks guided by its policy.