Even if you have been diligent about estate planning and instructions for your health and finances, you may be lacking an important document intended to ensure that your wishes are followed.
In addition to a health care directive you may want to complete a POLST agreement.
POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. It is a complementary document to a health care directive and primarily is used to signal your intent to emergency responders and physicians.
If you, or someone you care about, is terminally ill or dealing with late-in-life challenges, the POLST form may be a valuable document to have quickly available for paramedics and doctors. It is a fluorescent document usually posted clearly in a person’s residence and also included in medical files.
It’s best to request the form from your physician as part of a discussion about your preferences for life-saving treatment.
A Q&A document on use of a POLST form vs. advance directives is available here.
And you can learn more about POLST programs in your state here.
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