Estate Planning Update: Maryland “Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (MOLST)

Author: Ronald E. Lyons Date: 01/30/2012

Categories: Estate Planning and Administration

A new law is scheduled to go into effect in Maryland later this year known as Maryland MOLST, an acronym for Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. Essentially, it involves the creation of a portable and continuing medical order form that provides options for CPR and other life-sustaining treatments. The MOLST form must be completed for all individuals admitted to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice centers, home health agencies and dialysis centers. In addition, all hospital patients that are discharged or transferred to any of these facilities must have a MOLST form completed.

When properly completed, the Maryland MOLST form standardizes definitions, serves to consolidate critical information into orders, reminds patients and health care providers of treatment options and helps assure that the patient’s wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments are honored. Generally speaking, the MOLST document will result in a greater degree of compliance with patients’ wishes.

The MOLST approach combines existing orders related to CPR for emergency medical services personnel into a more universal form that can be relied upon by both EMS crews and other members of the health care team involved with a patient’s care. A particularly attractive aspect of the MOLST form lies in the fact that it accompanies the patient upon any transfer to a different health care facility.

The Maryland MOLST is a medical order form that is effective immediately. It is not an advance directive for health care. It must be signed by either a physician or a nurse practitioner, and the health care professional that signs must be aware of the basis for the order and ensure that it reflects the patient’s wishes to the extent they can be determined.

For more information on the Maryland MOLST, contact Ronald Lyons at (240) 778-2306 or at