OLYMPIC LEGAL             



Physician's Order for Life Sustaining Treatment

What is the difference between a Health Care Directive and a POLST?

A Health Care Directive is different from a Physician's Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST). A POLST is generated by a health care professional, usually the doctor, not by an attorney. 

Who would issue a POLST for you?

The attending physician, ARNP or PA-C must sign the form and assume full responsibility for its accuracy. The form is portable, i.e. it is intended to go with you from one healthcare setting to another and states your wishes regarding the following:

  • Resuscitation
  • Medical interventions 
  • Artificial feedings
  • Antibiotics

When would I need a POLST?

A POLST is most appropriately completed when the end of life is near. The Health Care Directive gives direction (and the Power of Attorney gives authority) to the substitute decision maker for input into the drafting and implementing of the POLST when the individual can no longer make those decisions independently.