Official State of Iowa Website

Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment

The Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST) is a document that allows a person to communicate what they want for life-sustaining treatments including resuscitation, scope of treatment, artificial nutrition, and other treatments or interventions. An IPOST is only for people who are frail and older, or who have a chronic, critical medical condition or terminal illness. The purpose of the document is to help people communicate their wishes are for their end-of-life care and to make sure those wishes are known no matter where the person is being cared for or receiving treatment. An IPOST may be used within a hospital or outside of a hospital and must at least include information about the use of CPR, what treatment is to be provided or not provided in a medical emergency, the use of feeding tubes, and the reason for these orders. The IPOST may include other information as well. An IPOST does not override a living will, a health care power of attorney, or an out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate order. See Iowa Code chapter 144D.

Where can I get more information?

  • Speak with your medical provider about IPOST and whether it might be right for you.
  • The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services provides general information about IPOST here
  • Iowa Legal Aid is a non-profit agency that provides legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable Iowans. Information can be found on the Iowa Legal Aid website and they can be reached by phone at 800-532-1503 or, for Iowans 60 or older, 800-992-8161. Information about IPOST can be found here