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November 19, 2013

Hospital offers assistance with POLST Paradigm Form

PARIS, ILL. — Advance directive laws within the state of Illinois have recently shifted to include a new option for patients: the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Paradigm Form.

An advance directive is a signed document created when a person is 18 years or older and is competent to express their end-of-life wishes, for use in case they become unable to do so. It provides instructions for future treatments, assigns a health care representative, does not assert wishes for emergency medical personnel and can guide inpatient treatment decisions.

POLST forms, on the other hand, are for persons with advanced illness or declining health, at any age. They provide medical orders for current treatment, can assert wishes for emergency medical personnel and can also guide inpatient treatment decisions.

According to, “The POLST form is a medical order indicating a patient’s wishes regarding treatments that are commonly used in a medical crisis. As a medical order, emergency personnel — such as paramedics, EMTs and emergency physicians — must follow these orders. Without a POLST form, paramedics and EMTs are required to provide every possible medical treatment to sustain life.”

Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center provides education and consultations by doctors for those that feel the POLST Paradigm Form is the best option for them. For more information call Dawn Welch, PCH/FMC case management coordinator, at 217-465-2606, ext. 340.

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