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

Health care professionals sitting at table with young female professional looking at you
Older man sitting in wheelchair with wife standing along side him in a park.

Guidance for Health Care Professionals

What Patients and Their Surrogates Need to Know

Policies, Standards & Research

Health Care Professional

Health care professionals sitting at table with young female professional looking at you

Guidance for Health Care Professionals

Patient, Family Member or Health Surrogate

Older man sitting in wheelchair with wife standing along side him in a park.

What Patients and Their Surrogates Need to Know

Researcher or Policy Analyst

Policies, Standards & Research

Essential Information for Health Care Professionals

Patient Stories & Videos

Oregon POLST Program News

Essential Information for Health Care Professionals

Oregon POLST Guidebook for Health Care Professionals

Downloadable copy (version 2021.12)

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)

Patient Stories & Videos

Photo of elderly woman's hand lovingly resting upon her husband's shoulder.

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.

Oregon POLST Program News

October 2022 Newsletter

Topics include: Oregon’s 14th version of the POLST form to be available in January 2023 – New POLST lay version factsheets with additional translations for greater inclusion – EMS app release by the Oregon POLST Registry – Effectiveness of Advance Care Planning: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What Needs to Change? by Drs. Susan Tolle and Katrina Hedberg – HERO Kids registry is first in the nation

March 2022 Newsletter

Topics include: Development of a POLST Smartphone App for Oregon’s EMS First Responders – The Release of the Oregon POLST Registry’s 2021 Annual Report – Christine Mullowney, MD as the New Co-chair of the Oregon POLST Coalition – New Clear Language POLST Factsheets in English and Spanish – 13 New Translations of Oregon’s POLST Form

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

Give to Oregon POLST

The Oregon POLST Program does not accept gifts from health care industry sources.

Your gift protects your independent voice.

Contact Us

Oregon POLST Guidebook for Health Care Professionals

Downloadable copy (version 2021.12)

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)

Photo of elderly woman's hand lovingly resting upon her husband's shoulder.

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.

October 2022 Newsletter

Topics include: Oregon’s 14th version of the POLST form to be available in January 2023 – New POLST lay version factsheets with additional translations for greater inclusion – EMS app release by the Oregon POLST Registry – Effectiveness of Advance Care Planning: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What Needs to Change? by Drs. Susan Tolle and Katrina Hedberg – HERO Kids registry is first in the nation

March 2022 Newsletter

Topics include: Development of a POLST Smartphone App for Oregon’s EMS First Responders – The Release of the Oregon POLST Registry’s 2021 Annual Report – Christine Mullowney, MD as the New Co-chair of the Oregon POLST Coalition – New Clear Language POLST Factsheets in English and Spanish – 13 New Translations of Oregon’s POLST Form

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

Give to Oregon POLST

The Oregon POLST Program does not accept gifts from health care industry sources.

Your gift protects your independent voice.

Contact Us