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Friday, July 14, 2017

END OF LIFE DECISION MAKING

Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment

MOLST is an acronym for Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. The NYS MOLST Program is an initiative to facilitate end-of-life medical decision-making in New York State. That is the cold and impersonal name for it, MOLST. It is really putting someone's life in your hands to decide if they should live or die, and how to succeed at it.

As a member of the Guardianship Committee, I have had to deal with the MOLST form over the years. On three separate occasions, people with mental disabilities who had no loved ones, who were Guardianees to the chapter have been in the end of life situations. Two of these people passed on peacefully as could be done and humanely as possible, one cheated death, so far.

The MOLST form is a checklist that the State and hospital along with Medicaid Law Services must approve for guardians to ask for ‘no intubation' or ‘no incubation' or any extreme measures to keep someone alive who is terminal and cannot process body functions properly.

As a member of the committee, one has to determine what is humane and makes the most sense in the interest of the individual dying. It is something that can be done through the coldness of reports, meetings and other paperwork that comes to a committee member, you don't have to view the patient, necessarily, as long as a couple of members visit the hospital.
How cold and impersonal!


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