WHAT IS A MOLST FORM?
A MOLST Form is a medical order form (kind of like a prescription). It stands for “Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment”. The form conveys instructions between healthcare professionals regarding a patient’s care. Click here to see the actual form.
DOES EVERYONE NEED A MOLST FORM? WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE?
In Massachusetts, patients of any age with a serious advanced illness may discuss completing a MOLST form with his or her doctor. It is a common misconception that a MOLST form should be completed routinely with other health care directives. This is not the case. Again – it is only intended for patients who have a serious advanced illness.
IS A MOLST FORM THE SAME THING AS A HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE/ADVANCE DIRECTIVE?
No, these are two different documents. Advanced directives (also known as health care proxies) are legal documents that become effective after the patient has lost capacity and is no longer capable of making his/her healthcare decisions. All adults over the age of 18 should have a healthcare proxy to name an agent to make healthcare decisions in the event of an unexpected accident or illness.
A MOLST form, however, is a medical document that contains medical orders that are effective immediately based on a patient’s current medical condition, regardless of the patient’s current ccapacity to make healthcare decisions.
If you decide to execute a MOLST form with your doctor, you also need to complete a healthcare proxy.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR COMPLETING A MOLST FORM?
Before completing a MOLST form, the signing clinician (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant), the patient and family members should discuss the patient’s medical condition, what should happen next, the patient’s values and goals for care and any possible risk and benefits of treatments offered. After these discussions occur, the form may be completed and signed by the clinician and the patient. The executed form remains with the patient and is to be honored by health professionals in any situation.
For a helpful website regarding the MOLST form, click here.