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​Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

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Pennsylvania Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a medical order that gives patients more control over their end-of-life care. The POLST form specifies the types of medical treatment that a patient wishes to receive towards the end of life. These medical orders must be signed by the patient or the patient's surrogate and either a:

  • Patient’s physician
  • Physician assistant
  • Certified registered nurse practitioner

Completion of a POLST form is only a small step in the process of a patient’s decision-making, and it is critical that this form be used as part of a program for end-of-life decisions that includes educational support, advance directives, and other aspects of planning for providers and patients.

Resources and educational information for the use of the POLST form are found on the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh website