Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment Expansion

The Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment Expansion (SB 109) is an attempt to clarify the extent and circumstances for usage of POLST forms in Georgia. POLST is a standard document that, when signed by a designated healthcare professional, dictates whether to withhold or administer certain treatments and/or care, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), antibiotics, nutrition and hydration, etc. SB 109, introduced in 2015 by Senator Nan Orrock, is intended to clarify the usage of the POLST forms and provide for civil and criminal immunity for doctors and healthcare facilties using them.

Pro-life and religious organizations around the nation have long cautioned the dangers of POLST forms. Although it is promoted as an addition to a patient’s own advance directive, in practice, it overrides a patient’s previous, carefully prepared advance directive because POLST is a physician’s orders. POLST is tilted toward non-treatment. 

GRTL is opposed to POLST, which already exists in Georgia, but is neutral on SB 109 after providing amendments to prevent its use from violating our Assisted Suicide statutes. SB 109 was sucessfully passed in 2015.

To learn more about POLST, click here.

To read SB 109 in its entirety, click here.