Thinking about end-of-life treatment is often stressful and overwhelming. However, planning ahead can often be the difference between having a medical professional follow your wishes and risking the alternative. A way to keep control over medical care is by filling out a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. A POLST form provides important medical decisions for emergency medical personnel to follow. The order can be applied at any place of treatment and includes decisions like whether or not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Below are common explanations about POLST forms and their necessity for those engaging in the Houston estate planning process.
What is a POLST Form?
A POLST form is a physician order set that travels with a patient from one place of treatment to another. The form discusses the patient’s preferred method of treatment, specifically regarding CPR status, intensity, and use of additional methods like antibiotics. The individual fills out the form and it is signed by a physician. When the patient is transferred to another location—or is discharged—the form literally goes with them.