Alaska's Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form

A MOST form describes your wishes for health care in a medical emergency.

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You may have heard about a new kind of health care directive in Alaska, called a Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form. Here, we discuss what a MOST form is and when you might need one.

What Is a MOST Form?

A MOST form is a doctor’s order that helps you keep control over medical care at the end of life. Like a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, the form tells emergency medical personnel and other health care providers whether or not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of a medical emergency. A MOST form may be used in addition to -- or instead of -- a DNR order. The MOST form may also provide other information about your wishes for end-of-life health care.

How to Make a MOST Form

If you enter a participating medical facility or health care setting, a health care provider can help you create a MOST form. To be valid, a MOST form must be signed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or other approved medical professional. Currently, MOST forms are available in Alaska Pioneer Homes (state run assisted living homes); they may soon be available in major hospitals as well.

You can change or cancel a MOST form at any time.

How Does a MOST Form Differ From Other Health Care Directives?

A MOST form differs from a DNR order in one important way: A MOST form also includes directions about life-sustaining measures in addition to CPR, such as intubation, antibiotic use, and feeding tubes. The MOST form helps medical providers understand your wishes at a glance, but it is not a substitute for a properly prepared Advance Health Care Directive.

An Advance Directive can provide more information than a MOST form, including details about your health care agent, more complete health care wishes, and your preference for organ donation. Therefore, if you have a MOST form, you do not need a DNR order, but you should still complete an Advance Directive to provide a full set of wishes about your care.

For details about making an Advance Directive, see Alaska Living Wills and Advance Health Care Directives: What You Need to Know.

For More Information

To learn more, and to view an example of the Alaska MOST form, visit the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website.

For general information about how to document your health care wishes, see the Living Wills & Medical Powers of Attorney section of Nolo.com.

by: , J.D.

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