Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment

Question: What is a “MOLST” and do I need one?

Answer: A MOLST, or Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, is a medical order that gives you control over your end-of-life care (very similar to an Advanced Health Care Directive).  However, unlike an Advanced Medical Directive, a MOLST directs precisely what kind of treatment you do or do not want when you are suffering from a serious, terminal condition.  A MOLST is not drafted by an attorney, rather as the name implies, it is a medical order that is signed by a doctor.  People who have MOLSTs generally pin the document to the refrigerator or door where EMS (Emergency Medical Services) can find it easily. The MOLST allows people to give specific instructions for EMS.  Most DNR orders do not give as much detail as the MOLST form (the MOLST addresses treatment beyond CPR). The MOLST is generally used for individuals facing terminal illness or other serious condition.  The MOLST will likely be most effective at hospitals and nursing facilities and EMS personnel who have been trained to recognize the document.  At a minimum the MOLST will assist others in determining a person’s wishes if the person is unable to communicate them.


Steve Shane Head Shot for webSteve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.