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Does your State have a POLST?

October 13, 2019 10:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Does your state have a POLST or MOLST - like form to document end-of-life issues?  Many states do.  

They are helpful and meant for those patients who:

  • you would not be surprised if they died in the next 12 months from a life-threatening or serious illness.
  • you would not be surprised if they were unable to share their own wishes in the next 12 months (think end-stage dementia, ALS, etc.)

They are not for healthy individuals.

More than half the states that have a POLST-like forms allow PAs to sign them independently.  Still, some states require a physician co-signature, and some do not allow PAs to sign at all.

There is a National POLST Paradigm organization which has more information on POLST around the country.  They actually have developed a National POLST form and there is some movement to adopt this.  A great idea, but right now it's default is for PAs to require a signauture.


What's your POLST experience? What are your questions?


  • January 21, 2020 6:10 PM | Martie Lynch
    I worked on the development of California’s POLST language with a group of KTLs and
    Physician early adopters in 2010. Gina Mohr M.D. from Loma Linda University Medical Center led our committee’s efforts. I was one of only a small number of PAs on that committee.

    Because nearly the entirety of my professional work has been providing end of life support for patients in medical oncology, Geriatrics, hospice and inpatient palliative care, I felt uniquely qualified to be part of this effort.
    Since 2011 I have given public presentations and counseled numerous families about the reasons for, and benefits of having the POLST document as part of care planning.
    I have been discouraged by the misinformation being given by non medical providers to Senior Groups in my community about who needs a POLST and when to sign one.
    It will continue to be a passion of mine to provide education about the POLST document to both medical professionals and to patients in my community.
    Who better to teach about what the POLST provides than PAs who do such a great job of educating patients about their care from birth to death?