On January 29, 2015, more than 60 leaders in medicine and health from across the state met to discuss how to advance the POLST paradigm in Illinois. The Task Force held the meeting at the offices of the Illinois State Medical Society in Springfield and Chicago to discuss the new legislation that gives additional support for the conversations that clinicians have with their patients regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation, feeding tubes and other procedures.
Leadership meeting participants emphasized that the form is just one product of a detailed conversation amongst patients, their loved ones, and their health care providers. “Individuals should decide who they want to make medical decisions for them if they can’t, and officially assign that person as agent with Power of Attorney for Health Care,” stated POLST Illinois Task Force chair Julie Goldstein, M.D. “There should be an ongoing conversation about a person’s specific disease process and his/her goals and values that inform wishes for care at the end of life. The POLST form is a vehicle to make sure that their decisions about life sustaining treatments are respected.”