POLST stands for Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. A POLST is a medical order indicating the specific medical treatments you do or do not want during a medical emergency. A POLST helps to convey your wishes to emergency services as well as other medical providers.
A POLST is NOT the same as a Health Care Directive. An advance directive is a legal document that tells who you want to make medical treatment decisions for you when you cannot speak and, generally, what treatments you do or do not want. It is a good idea for everyone to have a directive. A POLST form is a medical document. It is specifically intended for individuals with a serious illness or advanced frailty near the end-of-life. Health Care Directives and POLSTs work together.
Because a POLST is a medical order, it must be completed with the help of and signed by a health care professional. If you believe that a POLST is appropriate for your situation, call your health care provider. During the current COVID 19 outbreak, you may be able to meet with a health care provider about POLST by phone or online visit.
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