I get a fair number of questions about POLST forms.  So here’s a brief synopsis.  POLST stands for Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment.  The POLST form is not a substitute for an advanced directive but is intended to “summarize” a person’s wishes regarding life sustaining treatment.  The form is not created by an attorney.  It is supposed to be provided only by a physician and to be effective must be signed by both the patient and physician.  The form contains sections covering administration of CPR, other medical interventions, administration of antibiotics, administration of artificially provided nutrition and a summary of goals.  As with most everything the POLST form is appropriate for some people and not others.  So give some thought as to when and under what circumstances you should complete the form.

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