Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment

The Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a set of medical orders intended to guide emergency medical treatment for persons with advanced life limiting illness based on their current medical condition and goals. It is a 2-sided form with boxes to check that indicate your wishes and must be signed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant to be valid. A signed POLST will travel with you from one care setting to another, and it acts as a set of doctor’s orders.

A POLST form is not intended replace other advance directives, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, but rather compliment said directives. At the same time, you do not need these directives to have a POLST form, but it is generally recommended that you do. 

For further reading please see: Washington State Dept. of Health

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