POLST Stories

The best way to understand the value of National POLST is to listen to the stories of families whose wishes have been honored through using, or who could have benefited from using a POLST form. The videos below are personal testimonies for the importance of POLST Programs and the impact they have on individuals with serious illness or frailty.

What Was Your POLST Experience?
If you have an experience with POLST that you would like to share with us, please contact us to let us know. Your story can help others understand the value of POLST.

Max’s Story: When Advance Directives are not Enough

When Max was confronted with difficult decisions about the care he wanted in the face of his advancing heart problems, he took comfort in the fact that his wish for a peaceful, natural death was clearly documented in an advance directive. Tragically, Max and his loving family discovered that the advance directive did not ensure that his treatment wishes would be honored at a time of medical crisis. (2013, 4 min.)

Sister Martin’s Story: Listening to the Patient

Sister Martin Coleman is a caregiver and nursing home resident. She discusses how important it is for the patient’s voice to be heard in advance care planning. She believes that a POLST form comforts patients because they can know their wishes are documented. Video is used with permission of the California Health Care Foundation. (2012, 2 min.)

Margot’s Story: Gaining Strength

Margot has epilepsy and realizes that her seizures could be fatal. She believes that talking about the end of life makes her more confident about the future. She appreciates having a California POLST form because it allows her to make her treatment wishes known. Video is used with permission of the California Health Care Foundation. View full size on YouTube (2012, 2 min.)

What’s a POLST? Bernice’s story

When Bernice’s husband collapsed on the floor six years ago, paramedics rushed to the couple’s Woodland home, ready to administer CPR and bring him back to life. She handed them his POLST form, knowing that it spelled out exactly what her husband wanted in case of a medical emergency. Read the full story from the Sacramento Bee. (2016)