Frequently Asked Questions

Delaware Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (DMOST)

DMOST is a process for documenting treatment choices. The DMOST form is voluntary. It is a portable, standardized Medical Order that will be recognized and followed by Delaware health care providers.

The DMOST conversation is an opportunity to understand the likely course of your health and medical condition, so that you may make informed choices that are appropriate and reflect what you want. If you choose, you may invite loved ones to join this conversation.

1. What is DMOST?

The Delaware Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (DMOST) form is a portable medical order form. It allows you to make choices about life-sustaining treatments like CPR (resuscitation) and artificial nutrition. You may request full treatment, limited treatment, or comfort care only.

2. Who is it for?

A DMOST form can be used by a person with a serious illness or frailty, whose health-care practitioner would not be surprised if they died within the next year.

3. When should it be discussed and signed? Who signs it?

A DMOST form is completed after a conversation you have with a health care practitioner. It is signed by you and a physician (MD or DO), an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or a physician assistant (PA). The physician/APRN/PA signature makes the choices into portable medical orders.

4. Who is required to follow the wishes documented on the DMOST form?

These orders will be followed by health care providers in any setting (ambulance, long-term care facility, emergency room, hospital, hospice, home, assisted living facility, etc.). It travels with you and is honored when you move to a new setting.

5. Can someone else make DMOST decisions for me?

You make health-care decisions for yourself as long as you have decision-making capacity. You have the right to change your authorized representative at any time while you have decision making capacity.

If a physician determines that a person lacks decision-making capacity, an authorized representative can sign a DMOST form on behalf of that person. A DMOST form does not change the decision-maker designated by an Advance Health Care Directive, a Health Care Power of Attorney document, a guardian of person appointed by a Court, or Delaware law on health care surrogates.

If you have capacity and complete a DMOST form, you can sign on the form saying that if you lose capacity, your authorized representative cannot void the form you signed.

6. What if I change my mind?

If your condition or your choices change, you or your authorized representative should void (cancel) your DMOST form and request a new DMOST be completed with your new choices. You can void a DMOST form if you change your mind but do not want to create a new one. You may not make any changes to the content of the DMOST form. If you want to change your DMOST form you must void your previous form and complete a new one with your health-care practitioner.

If your DMOST form does not agree with your advance directive, the most recent document will be followed.

7. Must I do this?

The DMOST form is always voluntary and can be voided at any time. A Health care organization is prohibited from requiring you to complete a DMOST form for any reason, including as part of a person’s admission to a health care facility.

It is important to understand that this form contains medical orders. It will be followed by health care providers. For example, if you choose “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation”, and your heart stops, no attempt will be made to restart your heart. If you choose “Intubate/Use Artificial ventilation”, then you may be placed on a breathing machine with a tube in your throat and transferred to an intensive care setting in a hospital.

8. What will happen to my choices if I travel out of state?

Many states, including all the states in our region, currently use a form similar to the DMOST form. Forms from those states which are valid under the Delaware Law will be honored in Delaware. DMOST forms will be honored in other states which have reciprocity.