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The Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment

In 2010, the Louisiana legislature adopted the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) form. The LaPOST form is a document stating the desires of a qualified patient in a physician order. The form is signed by the patient and his physician and is used as a means to help individuals to consider the type of care they would want if they became seriously ill or incapacitated. The LaPOST form encourages a person to talk to their family members or legal representative about such issues. The form is executed by the patient and his physician to set forth various treatment options and goals for the patient if such an event occurs.

The legislation states that LaPOST does not condone, authorize or approve of mercy killing, euthanasia or permits any affirmative or deliberate act of omission to end life other than to allow the natural process of dying. The LaPOST forms are immediately actionable, signed physician orders that address a range of life supporting interventions as well as the patients preferred treatment for each intervention using a clearly identifiable form that is recognized, adopted and honored across treatment settings. The form is completely permissive and voluntary. It is not a living will and does not have to comply with the statutory requirements for a living will.

Under the LaPOST legislation, a healthcare provider, physician or an emergency medical technician is immune from civil, criminal and professional liability for withholding life-sustaining procedures from a patient with a duly executed LaPOST form. Likewise, no emergency medical technician or certified first responder is liable for administering life-sustaining procedures if there is no reasonable means that he or she could know or should have known that the patient had a duly executed LaPOST form.

To view or print the LaPOST form, Click Here.