POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment
POLST is a physician’s order that documents and directs a patient’s medical treatment preferences when faced with life-limiting illnesses and irreversible conditions.
In Arkansas, Masil George, M.D., is the Chair for AR POLST and is leading the efforts in POLST education. Dr. George is board certified in Family Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Care.
POLST is not for everyone. POLST is helpful if you or loved one is:
- Seriously ill
- Frail and have trouble performing routine daily activities
- Receiving hospice services
Make Your Wishes Known: Choices to Discuss with Your Physician and Your Family
A POLST form is completed following a discussion with your physician regarding your medical illness and your preferences for medical care. POLST form provides an opportunity to educate yourself by talking with your doctor about your options, and then discuss your choices with your family. How much do you want to know about your illness and how much does your family know about your priorities and wishes? What are your goals in the next year or two? These are all issues to be considered as you determine your treatment preferences. You can also state any personal, cultural or spiritual practices related to your care. Discussing and documenting your preferences in AR POLST form gives you greater control over your health care and ensures that your wishes are easily accessed and followed through by all individuals involved in your health care.
How is AR POLST Different from an Advance Directive?
AR POLST complements an Advance Directive and does not replace it. All adults need to have an advance directive regardless of their health status. POLST is appropriate for individuals with serious illness or frailty. An Advance Directive is a legal document, while a POLST is an actionable medical order which will be followed in all care settings.
The promise of AR POLST is that it empowers you to communicate the important decisions about your end-of-life care.
For a detailed video describing AR POLST, please the video below.