National POLST wishes to correct three inaccuracies in the Oregon POLST Newsletter covered in the recent HNN article.
- Oregon POLST’s separation from National POLST: Oregon POLST and National POLST split in 2017 due to a disagreement about National POLST’s Conflict of Interest Policy that allowed—in highly vetted circumstances—the ability to accept industry funding. National POLST’s policy is a commitment to transparency and inclusion for considering partnerships with those supporting our mission, vision and essential values and who are interested in helping people have access to quality POLST programs. We agree with Oregon POLST that the purpose of POLST is to elicit, document and honor patient treatment wishes and that reducing costs is not a purpose of the form, and that patient participation in POLST must be voluntary.
- Developing a uniform POLST form: National POLST individually invited every POLST Program in the U.S. to participate; the Oregon POLST Coalition responded via email declining the opportunity. The National POLST form project resulted in the national POLST form, patient guides, and a comprehensive Form Guide that includes rationale for included and excluded elements (see pages 31-36 for a full list of project participants).
- Designation on the national POLST map: POLST’s national map accurately portrays Oregon as unaffiliated. Per the map legend: “Only active programs are eligible for endorsed [or mature] status; unaffiliated status does not reflect program development.” The label of ‘unaffiliated’ neither changes the elements of Oregon’s program nor diminishes the contributions Oregon has made (and continues to make) to POLST.
While not all POLST Programs participate, we know we are all working towards the same goal of honoring patient treatment wishes. National POLST values inclusion and invites all POLST Programs to work with us toward this shared goal.
HNN included in a subsequent issue (November 12, 2019) a special note acknowledging National POLST’s corrections to the inaccuracies published in the Oregon POLST Newsletter.