Start by having a conversation with your doctor or nurse practitioner about your current medical conditions and what you can expect in the future. Other professionals, such as physician assistants, social workers, nurses, and chaplains, may also talk with you about these topics. Next, talk with your family and/or anyone else with whom you feel close and decide what medical treatments you want or do not want. Your decisions should be based on your preferences, values, and goals. Remember, you have the right to agree or disagree with medical treatments that are recommended to you.
To help you understand your options and organize your choices, you may use the Health Care Decision-Making Worksheet. You can use this worksheet when talking with a health care professional.
Maryland MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment):
This order form makes your treatment wishes known to health care professionals. It includes many sections, but the only sections that are completed are the ones that identify the decisions you've made regarding your treatment preferences. Every time a physician or nurse practitioner completes a MOLST order form, you will receive a copy for your records. If you do not have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order on your MOLST form, medics in Maryland must attempt resuscitation. This form does not expire and it goes where you go, to the hospital, rehab, assisted living, and back home.
This is a statement of your wishes regarding future medical treatment options. You may also designate who will make decisions for you should you lose the ability to make choices for yourself.
Your health will change over time. You will likely develop new problems. You may decide in the future that you want a treatment that you did not want in the past. As long as you are able to make your own decisions, you can change your advance directive and ask a doctor or nurse practitioner to change your MOLST orders.
Take a copy of your Maryland MOLST order form and advance directive with you every time you go to a new physician, the Emergency Room, a hospital, or any other health care facility.