Biophilic dome homes produce more energy than they consume

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It’s no secret that the building sector is a resource-intensive industry, but La Mesa, California-based nonprofit Green New World believes that the future of construction can and should be greener, healthier and energy-producing. Green New World created the House of PeacE (also known as Project HOPE), an autonomous and regenerative residential housing model that champions carbon-free living. Combining biophilic design with renewable energy systems and natural materials, Green New World’s first… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building



Soldiers reportedly kill forest defenders in Cambodia after they challenged illegal loggers

Government forces reportedly attacked a forest protection ranger, conservation worker, and military police officer in a part of northeastern Cambodia that grapples with illegal logging, per the Associated Press. The soldiers killed the forest defenders in what seemed to be retaliation after the three-person team seized equipment from illegal loggers, according to officials. Senior environmental official Keo Sopheak said, “The three were killed not by robbers or a guerrilla group but they were shot… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

Lobsters may not really scream when you boil them – they don’t have vocal chords – but research shows they may feel pain, and Switzerland’s government decided to do something about the common culinary practice of boiling lobsters alive. They will no longer allow the practice – according to the government order, the crustaceans “will now have to be stunned before they are put to death.”

Related: View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Scientists hypothesize why earthquakes happen where they shouldn’t

Scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of Memphis may have learned why earthquakes often occur in places far from the boundary of any tectonic plate, where earthquakes are usually expected. The slow, steady grind of tectonic plates and the tension released by tectonic activity View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Three-fourths of sunscreens don’t work as they claim and may contain harmful chemicals

Before heading to the beach, most people make sure to pack a bottle of sunscreen. After all, the ultraviolet rays can be quite damaging and no one wants to develop skin cancer later on in life. While doing so is recommended, it turns out certain ingredients in hundreds of common sunscreens don’t work as well as advertised, according to a new report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Additionally, 73 percent of 880 sunscreens that were tested contain “worrisome” ingredients people… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Israel to test electric roads that wirelessly charge vehicles as they drive

Forget the charging port—the roads of the near future could power your electric car while you drive, eliminating the need to ever stop to recharge or refuel again. Israeli startup Electroad is working to pave the way towards a greener world with technology that retrofits existing roads with buried coils to inductively charge electric vehicles. The team has already performed successful tests of the technology, and will be demoing the electric roads on a larger scale with a public bus route in Tel… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

FDA bans antibacterial soaps, saying they do more harm than good

The <a href=”http://inhabitat.com/?s=fda”>FDA</a> announced a ban on <a href=”http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/fda-bans-antibacterial-soaps-no-scientific-evidence-theyre-safe-effective/”>antibacterial soaps</a> after finding that it is no safer – and can be worse – than regular old soap. A number of ingredients typically found in <a href=”http://inhabitat.com/?s=antibacterial”>antibacterial</a> soaps (like triclosan) will be removed from shelves within… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

POLST and How They Work with Advance Directives

Image care of the POLST website
Image care of the POLST website

This blog post is the fourth in a series of guest posts by Arashi about end-of-life care planning and documentation in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day.

POLST forms are another type of end of life planning tool. POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. They’re also known as; medical orders on life-sustaining treatment (MOLST), medical orders on scope of treatment (MOST), or physician’s orders on scope of treatment (POST). The first POLST program was developed in Oregon in 1991 to create a standardized, easily recognizable, portable document which is designed to be transferable and actionable throughout the entire medical community.

POLST differs from advance directives in a number of ways. When one fills out an advanced directive, he or she is considering end-of-life choices regarding a myriad of future treatments. For example, if a person went into a persistent vegetative state with little to no hope of recovery would that person would want life sustaining technologies? An advance directive could be filled out at any time by any person independent of his/her current state of health. A POLST form is intended to be used by those who are seriously ill and are considering specific options regarding life support. A POLST form is started with a conversation between patient and physician. An advance directive should have a clear statement of general preferences while the POLST form is selecting from a set of choices. An advance directive generally requires some interpretation of preferences but a POLST form is intended to be an actionable order requiring no interpretation if or when the existent circumstances require it.

The POLST form was created to remedy some of the disadvantages of the advance directives. Advance directives do a good job of getting a general sense of what a person would want in end-of-life scenarios but often aren’t specific enough. They require a treating physician to translate intentions into orders. If the language of the advance directive is too ambiguous, the patient’s loved ones are still in the position of “deciding in the dark” what the patient really wanted. POLST forms also evolve with life sustaining technologies ensuring the patient is up-to-date on exactly what life support choices are being employed.

One advantage of advance directives is they can be done without the help of a lawyer or physician and they’re still able to be used to guide patient care. People can download an advance directive online and fill it out in a matter of hours. The disadvantage to this is the paperwork is with the patient when it should be shared with the medical professionals. POLST forms are available at doctors’ offices, completed with the help of a physician, and are created with the intent of going into the patient’s chart. They’re standardized and easily recognizable and designed to be transferable throughout different medical facilities.

POLST orders and advance directives are designed to work with each other. Advance directives should be considered general documentation of end-of-life care wishes while POLST orders are specific instances of physician’s orders. Everyone should have an advance directive written out—no matter how young or old or sick or healthy—they’re a “just in case” coverage of intentions. If a person is in a position where he or she has a prognosis of a year or less to live, having a POLST form is recommended.

POLST orders should be considered a second step to advance directives. POLST forms are a way to take one’s wishes from his or her advance directive and set them down in an unambiguous and concrete manner which is easily understood and applicable when needed. Research has shown the use of POLST forms results in higher levels of compliance from medical professionals. From physicians to EMTs to hospice care workers, most healthcare professionals find more accuracy of end-of-life preferences when the patient has a completed POLST order. And patients are more likely to receive the end-of-life treatments they desire when they have a POLST form.

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