State Senator Julie Morrison giving a press conference in the Blue Room

SPRINGFIELD – Standing alongside advocates from various health care organizations as well as the State Bar Association at a press conference Wednesday, State Senator Julie Morrison outlined her initiative 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 would establish a statewide electronic registry that will contain Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment forms, which lay out what type of medical treatment a 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.

“A statewide registry that is available to all health care institutions and providers is the best way to make POLST forms accessible when needed most,” said Dr. Julie Goldstein of the Illinois Practitioner Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment Committee. “Access to POLST forms allows providers to honor the medical decisions of all Illinoisans.”

Senate Bill 2644 passed the Senate and moves to the House Public Health Committee for further consideration.