Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should have a POLST form?
The POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form is important for people with serious health conditions. It is used to make a person’s wishes for medical care known to doctors, nurses, emergency medical personnel and other healthcare staff. The POLST form is a bright pink medical order form. Your doctor uses the POLST form to write orders that indicate the treatment you want in the last stages of an illness.
Why should I complete a POLST form?
If you have a serious medical condition, you can help to make certain that your wishes for care in the future are known and respected. The POLST form makes clear what medical care you would or would not want if you become unable to make the decisions yourself.
- • It provides a doctor’s order so that healthcare workers can follow your plan.
- • A POLST form increases the chances of living out your days as you and your family wish.
What does the POLST form do?
The POLST form is voluntary and is intended to:
- • Help you and your doctor discuss and develop plans to reflect your wishes.
- • Assist doctors, nurses, healthcare facilities and emergency personnel in honoring your wishes.
- • Make sure that your wishes are followed as you are moved from one healthcare facility to another (for example, from hospital to nursing home).
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