"PHYSICIAN ORDERS FOR LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENT (POLST)" PROGRAM
Sacramento, California, USA.
The POLST form stays in place when the patient later loses the ability to say what he or she wants. POLST can help reduce patient and family suffering and the decision making conflict between family members.
Most importantly the aim of POLST is to make sure that patient wishes are known and honored by sharing these wishes with doctors, nurses, and other health care team members.
The POLST form covers details on end of life wishes including:
-Resuscitation -Comfort Measures
-DNR (do not resuscitate)
-Antibiotics -Intravenous (IV) Fluids
-Artificial Nutrition/Tube Feeding
POLST differs from an Advance Health Care Directive in that POLST is:
-For the seriously ill
-Is more specific about exact wishes about certain medical treatments
-Is a signed medical order that your health care team can act upon
-It goes with you to your home, your hospital, or your long-term care facility. It goes where you go.
The program recommends that seriously ill people have both an Advance Health Care Directive and a POLST form.
POLST is available in multilingual formats including:
Several other advance directive forms are available to those who wish to make their end of life wishes known including:
Basic advance directive form - Includes wishes for end-of-life care and designation of a surrogate decision-maker
Easy-to-Use Advance Directive forms - Simple language and graphics make this Advance Directive very easy to use. English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese
Thinking Ahead My Way, My Choice, My Life at the End - An advance directive workbook and DVD developed by and for people with developmental disabilities. English, Spanish, and Chinese
Five Wishes - A user-friendly advance directive that addresses medical, personal, emotional and spiritual wishes of seriously ill people. Available in 20 languages
California Medical Association Advance Health Care Directive Kit
Caring Connections - State-specific Advance Directive forms that can be downloaded
The "Coalition for Compassionate Care of California" is a statewide partnership of more than 95 regional and statewide organizations dedicated to the advancement of palliative medicine and end-of-life care in California.
WATCH VIDEO ON HOW "POLST" PROGRAM WORKS