What is POLST

POLST stands for Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. The POLST form is a signed medical order that documents the types of treatments seriously ill people want at end-of-life. It travels with the patient to assure that treatment preferences are honored across settings of care (hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility etc.).

POLST is designed to help health care professionals know and honor the treatment wishes of their patients, by allowing people with advanced illness to choose the type of treatment they would want when they reach this point in their life.

POLST is intended for people of any age who are seriously ill or have a life-limiting illnesses.

The POLST form is an advance directive in accordance with Illinois law.  It is NOT intended to replace a Power of Attorney for Health Care (POAHC) form, but to be used in addition to this form.



National POLST Initiative

Originally developed in Oregon in the 1990’s, 42 states including Illinois, are developing POLST forms and programs. Sixteen states or regions including California and New York have officially endorsed POLST programs.   For more information on the national POLST initiative, please visit www.polst.org.