POLST is a physician order (must be signed by a doctor) that helps give seriously ill patients more control over their end-of-life care. Produced on a distinctive bright pink form and singed by both the doctor and the patient, POLST specifies the types of medical treatment that a patient wishes to receive towards the end of life. As a result, POLST can prevent unwanted or medically ineffective treatment, reduce patient and family suffering and help ensure that patients' wishes are honored.
Filling out a POLST form is entirely voluntary, but California law requires that health care proivders follow the physician orders in a POLST form.
The POLST form complements an Advance Health Care Directive and is not intended to replace that document. An Advance Directive is still necessary and is recommended for all adults, regardless of their health status because it permits appointment of a legal health care decision maker, provides for more complete health care wishes and states your preference for organ donation. If you have any questions about the POLST or health care directives, please call our office. For a copy of the POLST form and to learn more click here.