Dr. Susan Tolle awarded prestigious MacLean Center Prize

November 17, 2014

Susan-Tolle_webSusan Tolle, M.D., professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, was awarded the MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics on Nov. 15. The $50,000 MacLean prize is the largest of its kind and was presented during the 26th annual Dorothy MacLean Fellows Conference in Chicago. Dr. Tolle said she will donate the prize to the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care.

Dr. Tolle is a former MacLean Center fellow who has pioneered efforts to improve communication between health care providers and patients regarding end-of-life care. She is one of the founders of the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) movement in Oregon in the early 1990s. In a specific subset of patients -- those with advanced illness or frailty -- Dr. Tolle and others found that advanced directives were insufficient to safeguard patients' wishes about how they wanted to be treated in life-threatening situations. By contrast, POLST orders work to allow patients to receive the level of care they want in the setting they want.

"Dr. Susan Tolle's dedication, scholarship and hard work to ensure that patient's wishes are honored at the end of life has transformed the care of dying patients in the U.S.," said Mark Siegler, MD, Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Surgery and director of the MacLean Center. "I'm very proud of how Dr. Tolle continues to improve patient care and advance the field of clinical medical ethics."

Read more about Dr. Tolle's prize from the MacLean Center.

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