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POLST in Florida-A Legislative Update

What Is POLST?

An article in the Gainesville Sun presents the legislative efforts in Florida to create a bill that would bring POLST to the state.  POLST is physician orders for life-sustaining treatment.  Read the article here  http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150405/WIRE/150409774/1034/news02?Title=End-of-life-debate-hinders-8216-Right-to-Try-

The POLST is a tool for translating patients’ goals into medical orders in a highly visible, portable way, which enables patients to choose from a full range of care options, from aggressive treatment to limited interventions for comfort care.  Together the physician and patient reach an  informed decision about desired treatment, based on the person’s values, beliefs and goals for care.

When Should POLST Be Considered?

POLST is intended for persons of any age for whom death within the next year would not be unexpected. This includes patients with advanced illness or frailty.  It is completely voluntary and can be changed at any time.  Research shows that patients with a POLST are more likely to get the treatment they wish and not get the interventions they wish to avoid.

The Florida POLST Task Force is a coalition of doctors, professors, lawyers, clergy, social workers and many others. This group has been working locally and nationally to start a POLST program in Florida. Pilot projects are currently underway throughout the state. Florida POLST headquarters is currently located at the Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law.  Read the article in the Gainesville Sun (link above) for an update and what it can mean for you and your family.

The Miller Elder Law Firm works with families on the legal issues surrounding life sustaining treatment so the right decision can be made.  If we can help you with any elder law issues including advance directives, wills, trusts, guardianships, probate, or exploitation of the elderly, please contact us at 352.379-1900 or complete the form and we will contact you.