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POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) is a form that gives seriously ill patients more control over their end-of-life care by stating what kind of medical treatment patients want. The POLST form is printed on bright pink paper and gives patients a way to tell paramedics, doctors, nurses and other caregivers what types of treatment you want and do not want. It is signed by both the doctor and the patient.
The POLST form is more detailed than a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form. It includes directions regarding resuscitation, hospitalization, use of antibiotics and intubation.
The POLST form complements the Advance Directive and is not intended to replace it. An Advance Directive is necessary to appoint a legal health care representative and provide instructions for future life-sustaining treatments. The Advance Directive is recommended for all adults, regardless of their health status.
For more information talk with your family physician, visit www.caringinfo.org.