1999:  EMT/First Responder Scope of Practice Change

For the POLST form to be effective, emergency personnel wanted further protection from liability when honoring POLST orders. To address this, the task force recommended a change in the Oregon Medical Board’s administrative rules defining the Scope of Practice for EMT’s/First Responders (OAR 847-035-0030). The Board approved language states:

An Oregon-certified First Responder or EMT, acting through standing orders, shall respect the patient’s wishes including life-sustaining treatments. Physician supervised First Responders and EMTs shall request and honor life-sustaining treatment orders executed by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant* if available. A patient with life-sustaining treatment orders always requires respect, comfort and hygienic care.

*Nurse practitioners and physician assistants were added as signers in 2001 and 2007 respectively.