Prude Death Investigation

MOLST form addresses end of life care

Local News

Dr. Jeff Harp of Highland Family Medicine discussed Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or the MOLST form, Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“The MOLST form is a form that was put together by, actually, the New York State government to help people in New York State communicate what their wishes are for their medical treatment at the end of life,” explained Dr. Harp. “The benefits of it is making it very clear what, for example, I want or do not want to have happen to me at the end of my life, and communicating that with everyone who is taking care of me, and that’s the same for everyone, just making clear what a person wants to have done.”

In the regulations, New York State says that anyone who wants to communicate what their wishes are may do so, but Dr. Harp said this especially applies to those who are living in long term care facilities like nursing homes, or who have a terminal illness and it looks like they will probably die within the next year. “One gets started by talking with people of import, their physician, other members of their health care team, and obviously their family and friends about what they want to have done and starting that conversation,” he said. “This is meant to be portable. So once a person talks with their health care team, actually a physician has to have a conversation with them about what their final answer is – essentially – and then write the orders. And then this moves with the patient, so when a patient moves from a nursing home to a hospital, or from a hospital to a home, they take this with them and the orders move with them. They have to be reviewed every time that they move, but it’s good for the hospital, the physician admitting them to the hospital can look at it and say, is this what you want – yes, okay, then we’ll go ahead. At home, if an ambulance comes to the house and they say nope, I don’t want anything done, it works there too.”

Dr. Harp said the patient can decide whether they want to have a breathing machine, for example, or whether they want to have a tube feeding them food. There are a whole range of care options.
For more information about the MOLST form, click here.

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