What is the Connecticut MOLST Form?

AdobeStock_230069977-300x236By Lynda Lee Arnold

Maintaining control over medical care can be challenging in the best circumstances, but we face even more layers of complexity when dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of serious, life-limiting illness or advanced progressive frailty.

Whether you are concerned about ensuring that your own care goes as you intend, or want to protect and respect the wishes of a loved one, there is a relatively new type of medical form – the Connecticut MOLST form – that may help provide some peace of mind.

What is the MOLST Form?

The MOLST (Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) form is a medical order form (similar to a prescription) based on a person’s right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including treatment that may extend life.

This document:

  • contains treatment instructions, which have been defined by the patient and a MOLST-trained physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant;
  • outlines the patient’s choices about the use of life-sustaining treatments; and
  • ensures that health professionals across all aspects of patient care honor those choices.

What’s the Difference Between a Health Care Directive and the MOLST Form?

Unlike a health care directive (also called an advance directive), the MOLST form goes into effect as soon as it is signed, regardless of the patient’s capacity to make decisions. A health care directive, on the other hand, appoints a health care representative and only goes into effect once the patient no longer has the capacity to make decisions.

Another key difference is that while it is recommended that all adults (age 18 and older) complete a health care directive form to designate their health care agent or health care proxy, the MOLST form is only appropriate for patients who are at the end stages of an illness or who have an advanced progressive condition.

For more information, visit the MOLST page on the Connecticut Department of Public Health Website.

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