State Senator Julie Morrison

SPRINGFIELD – To help physicians meet patients’ end-of-life wishes, State Senator Julie Morrison advanced a measure to create a state electronic registry which will store treatment preferences for critically ill individuals.

“How much or how little treatment a person gets at their end-of-life should be up to each individual instead of the one-size-fits-all approach,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “This measure will enable physicians to access forms detailing patients’ wishes in a single, accessible location.”

Senate Bill 2644 will establish a statewide electronic registry that will contain Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, which detail what type of medical treatment a critically ill patient does and does not want. POLST forms can help health care practitioners to uphold a person’s wishes regarding their care.

Currently, POLST forms can be maintained in hard copy or electronic format. Morrison’s measure would establish a single location to hold all POLST forms, making it easily accessible to physicians throughout the state.

“At the end of life, maintaining comfort and dignity can get overlooked if a patient’s preferences are not in place and accessible,” said Morrison. “It is my hope that creating this statewide registry helps to ensure an individual’s wishes are honored.”

Senate Bill 2644 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and moves to the full Senate for further consideration.