“MOLST” is Here!
“MOLST” stands for Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. It is another option for those people who are terminally ill that expresses ones wishes beyond just a “DNR” order. A DNR or “Do Not Resuscitate” order is a medical order entered into your chart by a medical professional after consultation with you that directs any future medical personnel to not revive you if you stop breathing or your heart stops. You do not have to be terminal to obtain a DNR order. However, MOLST is only for the terminally ill and it sets forth under what circumstances and to what extent you want to be treated going forward. It was previously being used in a few districts in Connecticut on a trial basis, but has now been expanded to include the entire State.
MOLST includes your decisions on whether or not to perform CPR (DNR); whether or not to transport you to a hospital should something else medically happen; whether or not to invasively assist you with breathing (intubation, mechanical breathing) or non invasive breathing assistance (such as an air mask), or no treatment at all; finally, the option to provide you with comfort care only and allow a natural death. This form does not replace a living will (aka Advance Directive) as it only comes into play if you are already terminally ill and have the mental capacity to make this determination or, if incapacitated, have previously expressed your desire through your living will or other documents or even verbally to your family and medical professionals such that they know your wishes and can carry them out for you. Since none of us know when or how we will die, a living will is still a useful life end instrument and it gives your caregivers and family a little insight into your wishes in the event something sudden occurs preventing you from expressing your opinion at that time. MOLST goes beyond your living will by defining it in more detail.
For more information: Connecticut State Department of Public Health Website