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

The two forms that protect your health and follow your wishes are Advance Directive and MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment).

It is a good idea to have both an Advance Directive and a MOLST form. These forms can be updated and each UMMS medical center or hospital will honor the most current document.

Maryland 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.

The Maryland Advance Directive includes:

  • Appointment of a health care agent or advocate
  • Your health care instructions
  • A signature page where you and two witnesses sign the form to make the document official.

Writing down your instructions in an Advanced Directive is the best way to make sure everyone knows what you want. It is a good idea to give a copy of these instructions to your family, close friends, nurses or doctors.

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

MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)

The MOLST is a form for right now, not for the future. It contains medical orders about cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-sustaining treatments. The MOLST form is followed as soon as the form is completed.

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