Attorney Patricia D. Stewart will host a workshop titled, Understanding MOLST (Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment), on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Public Library.
Stewart is the founder of Patient Sense, an initiative to advocate and reach out to patients, caretakers, and their families to educate them about medical/legal issues that involve patient rights.
Stewart said she was drawn to this field by what she describes as “a disturbing and pervasive trend in the health-care community, aimed at hastening the death of the elderly and seriously ill.”
She cited as an example of this trend the Massachusetts law “that requires health-care practitioners to provide information and end of life counseling to terminally ill patients on options for palliative and end of life care.”
MOLST is used to guide these discussions, according to Stewart.
“MOLST is a medical order on which a patient is apt to accept or reject certain life-sustaining methods or treatments in the cases of cardiac or respiratory arrest, kidney failure, or dehydration,” said Stewart. “The problem with this form is that it is very complex and can easily be misunderstood by patients who are going to be dealing with it in a very tense context if they’re seriously ill or elderly.
“I’m concerned that it is a form which can easily be misused or abused, and therefore have people make choices when they’re not fully cognizant about the consequences of those choices,” she added.
Stewart said it is her goal to educate people about these choices and inform them that there are options to the MOLST form.
The workshop is free of charge.
People wishing to contact Atty. Patricia D. Stewart may email her at [email protected]).