By Richard Poveromo
The Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatments (MOLST) form is a physician-order form that can be used by healthcare practitioners and facilities to honor patient preferences regarding end-of-life care.
MOLST forms are generally for patients with serious health conditions and should be kept with them at all times. To ensure patient’s preferences are followed, individuals who opt for or against measures for end-of-life treatment, are going into a long-term care facility, or who have a high potential for death within a year should consider talking to their physician about completing a MOLST form.
In order to facilitate an initial conversation with your healthcare provider about the MOLST form, consider these three questions:
- What are your specific care goals and treatment options for your illness?
- What are the treatments or extraordinary measures that you would not want initiated on your behalf?
- What are your values and beliefs and how do they influence your healthcare decision making?
The MOLST form provides very specific medical instructions and is accepted in all healthcare settings across New York State. Additionally, a MOLST form goes into effect immediately upon signing and does not expire unless an expiration date is explicitly added. Your healthcare provider should review your wishes and recertify the form every 90 days. Although providers may choose to use a form other than the MOLST, the MOLST form is the only form authorized in New York State for documenting Do Not Intubate (DNI) orders outside of the hospital setting.
For more information on filling out a MOLST form visit http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/patients/patient_rights/molst/ .
Richard Poveromo is Interim Director of Social Work Services at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital.