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FAQs about the Format and Content of the MOLST Form

Does the MOLST form have to be bright pink?

No.  MOLST forms executed on any color of paper or electronic versions are valid.  However, because EMTs are trained to look for the bright pink MOLST form in outpatient settings – and to make the MOLST form easy to find – it is highly recommended that a bright pink-colored MOLST form stays with the patient at all times.


Why shouldn’t blank MOLST forms be given to or mailed to patients to preview or consider on their own?

The MOLST form is a standardized medical order form that relays instructions from one licensed health professional to another.  It should be filled out by a health professional, after discussions between a clinician and patient about the patient's prognosis, treatments and goals of care.  The MOLST form should not be used to introduce or solicit patient decisions about life-sustaining treatments.   It is designed only for documenting decisions patients make in the context of appropriate discussions about life-sustaining treatment choices with a clinician.


Does every section of the MOLST form need to be filled out for the form to be valid?

The MOLST form does not need to be completed in every section to be valid.  For Page 1 to be valid, every part of Sections D and E must be filled in completely and legibly.  And, for Page 2 to be valid, every part of Sections G and H must be filled in completely and legibly. 


Each page of the MOLST form can be valid independently of the other, and, other than the requirements described above, neither page needs to have all sections completely filled in, to be valid.  Page 1 can be used, for example, to provide resuscitation instructions only (Section A).

  Page 2 can be used, for example, to provide instructions only about a patient’s Preferences for Other Medically-Indicated Treatments. (Section F). 



What if only Page 1 or only Page 2 of the MOLST form is received?

Each page is considered to be valid independently of the other, if filled in appropriately.  However, follow-up may be a good idea, to ascertain if the other page exists but is missing.


When does the MOLST form expire?

If no expiration date is indicated on the form (no expiration date is required), the MOLST form does not expire.


Will the MA MOLST form be honored in other states?

The MOLST instructions may be honored in some states, but not in others. However, a MOLST form is always a good record of a person’s treatment decisions.  Likewise, MOLST/POLST/POST forms from other states are not considered valid medical orders in Massachusetts, but they may be considered as evidence of a patient’s preferences.  Patients who reside in (or spend time regularly in) multiple states are recommended to discuss MOLST/POLST/POST orders with clinicians in both states.


With multiple versions of the Massachusetts MOLST form in circulation, which versions are valid?  And, are future changes to the content of the MOLST form expected? 

Several versions of the Massachusetts MOLST form are currently in use.  All of these authorized versions are available to review on the MOLST website at and are considered valid.   It is expected that the MOLST form may change over time, though not frequently. 


Regarding the patient's privacy, what suggestions do you have for keeping the MOLST available at the bed side when the patient is inpatient?

The form may be kept in a bright pink envelope or folder at the bedside.

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