Informed Consent

To help you understand your medical treatment, your doctor will talk to you about:

  • Your illness
  • The plan for treating your illness
  • The possible benefits and risks of the treatment
  • Other ways to treat your illness
  • What may happen if you decide against treatment

Your consent is needed before any treatment is initiated that may involve significant risk to you. Consent is not needed in certain emergencies where treatment cannot wait.

Advance Directive

An Advance Directive is a set of written instructions that allows you to make decisions about your future medical care, and/or to designate somebody to make those decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so.

An Advance Directive can include:

  • Appointment of a health care agent or advocate
  • Your health care instructions
  • A living will
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders.

You may give these instructions to your family, close friends, nurses or doctors. Writing down your instructions is the best way to make sure everyone knows what you want.

You can also find more information and free forms at The Office of the Attorney General in Maryland, Advanced Directives.

Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)

The MOLST form contains medical orders about cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-sustaining treatments specific to your current condition. If you create a MOLST form, it puts into operation a broader, patient-developed Advance Directive.

The MOLST form helps to ensure that your wishes to receive or decline care are honored by all health care providers throughout the course of your care. To be valid, a MOLST form must be signed and dated by a provider with a Maryland license.

You may have an Advance Directive and a MOLST form or just one of these documents. The Medical Center will honor the most current document.

You can learn more about MOLST and find the two-page form at Maryland MOLST.