Oregon POLST: Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment® 

Oregon has served as The Founding POLST Program since the early 1990s, leading the way for greater POLST implementation.

What is a POLST?

It is a medical form that you may use to turn your wishes for treatment near the end of life into medical orders.

Who should have a POLST?

It is for a person with a serious progressive illness, such as advanced heart disease, advanced lung disease or cancer that has spread. It is also for someone who is older and frail and might not want all available medical treatments.

A POLST can never be required by a health care professional, care facility or health system.

Understanding POLST

Watch this simple 4-minute video to understand these medical orders.

Find the Information You Need by Who You Are.  I am a …

Health Care Professional

Patient, Family Member or Health Surrogate

Researcher or Policy Analyst

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Guidance for Health Care Professionals

What Patients and Their Surrogates Need to Know

Policies, Standards & Research

Essential Information for Health Care Professionals

Patient Stories & Videos

Oregon POLST Program News

Oregon POLST Guidebook for Health Care Professionals

Downloadable copy (version 2020.11)

POLST: Guidelines on POLST Use for Persons with Significant Disabilities who are Now Near the End of Life

Downloadable copy (version 08.03.2020)

Office of Developmental Disabilities Services' Fact Sheet on POLST Use

Downloadable copy (version 08.20.2020)

Oregon Medical Board Report: Appropriate Use of POLST

Downloadable copy (Winter 2020)

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Family Members Should Not Be Required to Sign a POLST for Their Loved One - A Story

POLST: When is the Right Time? - A Video

This 3-minute video shows the changes in Betty’s life. When she is healthy, she completes an advance directive. Later as she becomes seriously ill, she completes a POLST with her doctor.

Choosing Full Treatment when You Hope for More Time - A Story

Cómo Comprender el POLST - Un Video

This Spanish version of the “Understanding POLST” video provides a clear, detailed overview of the Oregon POLST form without medical language.

September 2021 Newsletter

Topics include: Revolutionary Changes to The Oregon POLST Program’s Website – JAGS Publishes Systematic Review by Dr. Varnes and colleagues – Social Determinants of Health Associated with POLST Completion by Dr. Gievers and colleagues in The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine – September Oregon POLST Webinar POLST: Becoming More Inclusive of our NP and PA Colleagues presented by Susan Tolle, MD

August 2021 Newsletter

Topics include: Oregon POLST in The Journal of Palliative Medicine – Announcement to register for the Sept. 1st webinar, POLST: Becoming More Inclusive of our NP and PA Colleagues with Drs. Susan Tolle and Betty Ferrell – The recording of the July webinar on New Innovations: Oregon POLST Registry Expands Access and Informs Quality – New Changes to Washington State’s POLST Form – Hard-stop in ePOLST on Section C: Documenting Who Participated in a Patient’s POLST Discussion

April 2021 Newsletter

Topics include: A newly published editorial in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: “Aligning POLST Orders with Wishes: Time to Put Evidence into Practice” by Dr. Susan Tolle and related video – the just released 2020 Oregon POLST Registry (OPR) Annual Report

March 2021 Newsletter

Topics include: New York Times ‘Wrongful Life’ article – LGBTQ+ Patient Story – Recorded webinar on POLST & COVID-19 – Oregon’s Declining Trend in ‘Yes’ to CPR – Improved OPR Quality Reports

Dec 2020 Newsletter

Topics include: Clarifying ‘CPR/Limited Treatment’ – Most POLST Forms are Completed during Outpatient Care – “Yes” to CPR is Rising Again – National POLST Paradigm Policy of Not Incentivizing the Completion of POLST Forms – New Care Conversations Video

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