California POLST Form Not a Substitute for Advance Healthcare Directive

12:28 pm Estate Planning

medical equipment e1319660975925 California POLST Form Not a Substitute for Advance Healthcare DirectiveCurrently, California is one of 14 states and regions in the U.S. that participate in a POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) program.  A POLST form is an official medical order that spells out in detail your specific instructions for end-of-life care.

Broader than a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order, a POLST form can be used to specify to healthcare providers whether or not you would want a feeding tube, intubation or any other artificial means of extending life.  It must be signed by your doctor and remains a part of your medical record, accessible by any healthcare provider who may be caring for you.

However, a POLST form is not a substitute for a California advance healthcare directive, which provides much more information and instruction to family members and healthcare providers, including the naming of a healthcare agent in case you are unable to make your wishes known.

POLST programs were initiated to help healthcare providers discuss end-of-life treatment options with patients, as studies show that over 75 percent of Americans will be unable to make at least some of their own end-of-life medical decisions.  They also help remove a common burden of guilt on family members who are often left to decide what to do without any input from a terminally ill family member.

Executing a POLST form as part of your advance healthcare directive is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for your family, and a good way to ensure your end-of-life wishes are both known and respected.

For more information on California advance healthcare directives, contact our California estate planning law firm.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

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