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J Law Med Ethics. 2008 Spring;36(1):119-40, 4. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.00242.x.

The POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) paradigm to improve end-of-life care: potential state legal barriers to implementation.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, USA.


The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm is designed to improve end-of-life care by converting patients' treatment preferences into medical orders that are transferable throughout the health care system. It was initially developed in Oregon, but is now implemented in multiple states with many others considering its use. An observational study was conducted in order to identify potential legal barriers to the implementation of a POLST Paradigm. Information was obtained from experts at state emergency medical services and long-term care organizations/agencies in combination with a review of relevant state law.

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