Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Forms

A POLST form helps patients with life-threatening medical conditions make their treatment wishes known.

A Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form is a document that helps people with life-threatening medical conditions ensure that they get the kind of medical care they do (or do not) want. POLST forms are like Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders in that they:

  • must be signed by a doctor or other approved health care professional, and
  • instruct emergency medical personnel whether to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

However, POLST forms cover many additional types of medical treatments, such as intubation, antibiotic use, and feeding tubes.

POLST forms are available in most states, though they sometimes go by other names -– including MOLST, POST, and COLST. Learn more about your state's POLST in the articles below.