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Understanding the purpose of the POLST.

Updated: Jul 12, 2022


The POLST or Practitioner Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form

Allow providers, caregiver, family member to understand you wishes in a situation the is no signs of life.

What is the POLST form?

In a nutshell, this form removes the uncertainty from one's wishes. It is critical to express your preferences since loved ones frequently struggle with decisions involving life-sustaining care. The main draw about this form is that you may included medical interventions such as:

  • Selective treatment allows for treatment for certain scenarios such as IV therapy, airway support, and hospitalization.

  • The major purpose of comfort-focused care is to ensure that you are comfortable and free of pain or suffering. Medical treatment may include oxygen, comfort medicine, suction, and other treatment that your provider orders.

  • In most cases, you can stay in place; the only exception is if your comfort needs cannot be met.

The form also allows you to choose what your nutritional status would such as nutrition from a feeding tube.


The form should be signed by you, but if you are a minor, your parent should sign it. The only exception to this is if you are considered incapable of making your own decisions, in this case ,your power of attorney or surrogate will sign. The provider will be required to sign.


Please feel free to print a copy of the POLST form for the state of Illinois. It is vital to note that this form is accessible in all states it may look different  but the premise of the form remains the same.


If you have any additional question, please speak to your provider






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