Question: I was my mom’s Health Care Proxy. When it was time to make decisions about her end of life treatment, I had little guidance. We never really spoke about her desires. I struggled to make the choices she would have wanted. Are there other options, beside, just a health care proxy document?

Answer: Your mother trusted your judgment above everyone else. I am sure you honored her well. Yet, I understand your desire for more specific directions. It is not easy making important end of life treatment decisions without a script. Fortunately, since 2012, there is an additional form to help fill in the blanks left with a basic health care proxy document.

A MOLST form, instructs health professionals about a patient’s decision to accept or deny certain life sustaining medical treatment. MOLST is an acronym which stands for Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. Completed together with a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, the form captures a patient’s desires for or against:

  • CPR resuscitation;
  • Intubation;
  • Ventilation;
  • Dialyses;
  • Hydration; and
  • Nutrition.

Unlike a Living Will, which has no legal significance in Massachusetts, a MOLST form signed by the patient and his or her medical professional, will stand as a valid legal directive. Coupled with a Health Care Proxy form, seniors, or anyone with significant medical needs, will be well represented without any doubts. MOLST forms can be obtained at your doctor’s office or online at

To establish a health care proxy, contact Priority Law.

This article was originally published in the Lowell Sun and is for informational purposes only and not to be relied on as legal advice, in any manner.