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California Medical Decision Making Forms: Advance Directives, DNR and POLST


Statute: POLST and DNR

Part 4 of the Healthcare Decisions Act deals with patient wishes about resuscitative measures as expressed through both the pre-hospital Do Not Resusictate Order (DNR) and the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST).  Both of these forms are medical orders that are intended to tell medical personnel, including emergency medical technicians, what to do in certain circumstances.  The DNR form deals exclusively with whether or not a person wishes to be revived if his or her breathing or heart stops.  The POLST form deals with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and also levels of intervention desired when a person still has a pulse and/or is breathing, and whether or not a person wants to be fed by artifical means, including feeding tubes.


Although the form is to be signed by a doctor and patient, you can get to know the form and its parts at the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California's website.  This is the organization that advocated for the implementation of POLST in California.

Form: DNR

The link below is from the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Web Resources