Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) and Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) are one-page physician orders that help provide health care treatment instructions for seriously ill adults when nearing death.  Sometimes they are also known as Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) or Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST).

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These documents are appropriate for patients who both are seriously ill and have a life expectancy of less than one year.  Several states offer MOST/POST documents as an addition to other documents concerning one’s healthcare in the final stages of life.  You are not required to have a MOST/POST document, but it is advisable to have one to ensure quality care during the last phases of your life. 

The MOST/POST document is flexible because it is recognized by any health care provider and health care providers at any level or any location.  It is important because the MOST/POST is consulted when you are unable to make decisions regarding your healthcare in the final stages of life. 

It's important to remember that a POST/MOST document does not take the place of a Living Will or a Health Care Power of Attorney document.  However, a MOST/POST document is still advisable to have because the guidelines for your healthcare are communicated by you through the document, and it is in a format that healthcare providers recognize.

Before you issue your MOST/POST, you should have a qualified physician review and approve your document.  You must also consent to the MOST/POST before any step outlined in the document can occur.  

States that support this program have different information and requirements needed to acquire a MOST/POST form.  You should check with your state’s healthcare program to see if they provide this resource, and if so, what you will need to get a MOST/POST.  The states that provide online information are listed below.  You can also visit Center for Ethics in Health Care, Oregon Health & Science University, for more information about the program.

California
Colorado
Hawaii
Idaho
Louisiana
Massachusetts
New York
North Carolina
Oregon
Tennessee
Utah
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin


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