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Episode #9 – Understanding the POLST Process

Marty Fogarty founded the Heartland Law Firm nearly a decade ago, and he sees firsthand the difficulty of moving between life’s transitions. The Heartland Law Firm is dedicated to helping families plan ahead so no one has to go through these transitions alone.

Even if you are not dealing with a legal issue right now, the Heartland Law Firm Podcast has tips that may come in handy at some future point in your life. Tune in to this episode where Marty interviews professional Geriatric Care Manager, Noreen Coussens about the new POLST Process in Illinois.

Answering Questions about POLST

Issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the POLST Process replaces traditional DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and advanced directive forms for seriously ill patients, allowing them to choose the treatments they want and ensure that their wishes are honored.

POLST stands for Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. Marty has a lot of questions about the new policy, and Noreen is happy to answer them all, providing a wealth of information. Some of the questions she answers cover topics that include:

  • Primary differences between POLST, traditional DNR, and Power of Attorney
  • How the form carries out dignity for the patient in regards to end of life planning
  • Which medical interventions are covered on the form, i.e. comfort measures

Moving right along, Marty and Noreen go on to discuss the effect of POLST on a person’s passing from life. Without naming names or giving up private details, she uses the example of an elderly person with an only child. You will not want to miss hearing how different their situation could have turned out if her wishes had been honored.

When Should You Have a POLST?

Do you need a POLST? Noreen also tackles this question, giving facts about the people for which the process was intended. However she also describes which type of people are better covered by Power of Attorney.

Marty and Noreen wrap up the episode by talking about how Illinois residents can get a POLST put into place – including how to bring up the topic with family. If you have more questions for Noreen about this way of honoring a patient’s last wishes, then you can contact her at nbcoussens@gmail.com or (224) 567-3974.

Because Marty and the others at the Heartland Law Firm respect family values, they take extra care to respect your family’s wishes. Listen to the entire episode now, and then head over to www.heartlandlawfirm.com where you can contact the Heartland Law Firm to learn how you can benefit from all of their legal services. And if you know anyone who can benefit from the information in this podcast, please forward it to them!


Heartland Law Firm
1545 N Waukegan Rd #2-9
Glenview, IL 60025

1 (847) 729-3300

Twitter – @heartlandlaw
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