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POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.

POLST is a physician’s order that documents and directs a patient’s medical treatment preferences when faced with life-limiting illnesses and irreversible conditions.

In Arkansas, Natalie Peeples, MD, board certified in Internal Medicine and Palliative Care, is the Chair for AR POLST and is leading the efforts in POLST education.

POLST is not for everyone. POLST is helpful if you or a loved one is:

High-quality and personalized end-of-life care continue to be a significant challenge in America. The current standard of care during an emergency is for emergency medical services (EMS) to attempt everything possible to attempt to save a life, however, not everyone wants every available treatment. Having a discussion with a physician, and completing a POLST form is one way to ensure that an individual's preferences are respected, recorded, and followed.

Make Your Wishes Known: Choices to Discuss with Your Physician and Your Family

A POLST form is completed following a discussion with your physician regarding your medical illness and your preferences for medical care. POLST form provides an opportunity to educate yourself by talking with your doctor about your options, and then discuss your choices with your family.  How much do you want to know about your illness and how much does your family know about your priorities and wishes? What are your goals in the next year or two?  These are all issues to be considered as you determine your treatment preferences.  You can also state any personal, cultural, or spiritual practices related to your care. Discussing and documenting your preferences in AR POLST form gives you greater control over your health care and ensures that your wishes are easily accessed and followed through by all individuals involved in your health care.

How is AR POLST Different from an Advance Directive?

AR POLST complements an Advance Directive and does not replace it. All adults need to have an advance directive regardless of their health status. POLST is appropriate for individuals with serious illness or frailty. An Advance Directive is a legal document, while a POLST is an actionable medical order that will be followed in all care settings.

Downloads, Resources, & Quick Links
POLST Form and Directions | Spanish
Appointment Healthcare Agent | Spanish
Advance Care Plan | Spanish
Acceptance Surrogate Form | Spanish
POLST Fact Sheet
POLST: Doing It Better (YouTube)

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Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867