Back to top

Information for Lawyers

MOLST in Massachusetts is based on the premise that individuals have the right to accept or refuse medically indicated treatment, including life-sustaining treatments; and the ethical principle of respect for patient autonomy; and legal principle of patient self-determination.

MOLST is a Medical Order - different from an advance directive because it is based on a person's current heatlh status and is effective immediately upon signature, whether or not a person retains capacity or has lost capacity to make medical decisions for themselves. Use of the MOLST form is supported in Massachusetts as a “clinical standard of care for communicating patient preferences regarding life-sustaining treatment options.” Health professionals are encouraged to honor MOLST forms as bona fide medical orders.

Resources for Legal Professionals:


MOLST Developmental Timeline 


Return to PROFESSIONALS page