State Senator Julie Morrison testifying on the floor

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

“How much or how little treatment a person receives at the end of their 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 would establish a statewide electronic registry that would contain Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment 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 through the Secretary of State’s office, making it easily accessible to physicians throughout the state.

“I worked closely with the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Hospital Association and the Alzheimer’s Association to develop this legislation,” said Morrison. “It is my hope that creating this statewide registry will ensure an individual’s wishes are honored.”

Senate Bill 2644 passed the Senate Tuesday. It now heads to the House for further consideration.