MOLST: Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment
What is MOLST?
Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) is a medical order form (similar to a prescription) that relays instructions between health professionals about a patient’s care. MOLST is based on an individual’s right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including treatments that might extend life. In Massachusetts, patients with a serious advanced illness at any age may discuss filling out a MOLST form with their clinician. The patient’s decision to use the MOLST form must be voluntary.
Before filling out a MOLST form, the signing clinician (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant), the patient and family members/trusted advisors should discuss the patient’s current medical condition, what could happen next, the patient’s values and goals for care and any possible risks and benefits of treatments that may be offered. After these discussions, the MOLST form may be filled out and signed by the clinician to instruct other health professionals about the use of life-sustaining treatments for the patient. The patient must sign their MOLST form. The signed MOLST form stays with the patient and is to be honored by health professionals in any clinical care situation.
Please note, MOLST is not a health care proxy form. All adults aged 18 and older are recommended to fill out a health care proxy form to name the person who can make medical decisions for them in the future event of an unexpected illness or accident. Anyone with a MOLST form is also recommended to fill out a health care proxy form.
Learn more about MOLST by reading FAQs or watch the video.