The Commonwealth of Virginia has launched a new statewide Advance Health Care Directive Registry. Virginia is unique among states that offer this kind of service, since there is no cost to Virginia taxpayers or registry users. This is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Health, UNIVAL, Inc. and Microsoft Corp, to provide an important service to Virginians.
The secure electronic registry tool allows all Virginia residents to store their important documents (Advanced Health Care Directive, Health Care Power of Attorney, Declaration of Anatomical Gift, etc.) so that medical providers, emergency responders, family members, and anyone else they grant access will honor their wishes. It protects a person's legal rights and ensures that medical wishes are honored if that person becomes incapacitated and unable to manage their own care.
Without advanced planning, health care decisions are often left to family members when a loved one becomes incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves. Registering relieves the family of that responsibility, and lets health care providers know a person's wishes as well to make informed decisions.
Registration is simple. Residents enter basic information, create an account and select a personal identification number (PIN) and password. Each Virginian who signs up receives an identification card containing their personal registry information so heath care professionals can access it if necessary.
The database of Advance Directives is held in a confidential and secure site, protected by the most up-to-date web and database security standards. All of the information submitted will be used only by authorized individuals and will be kept completely confidential.
Please visit the Advance Health Care Directive Registry website, if interested in registering, or learning more about this state initiative. Legal Virginia residents without computer access can still be part of the registry by calling 1-800-224-0791 for help and more information.
If you do not have an Advance Health Care Directive Document, the Registry website provides a link to download free blank forms, brochures and booklets from the Virginia State Bar (VSB) website for both the public and professionals, including the following:
Please note, there are also advance directive forms with special provisions for mental health conditions available on the same website.
Single, color copies of "Your Right to Decide" booklet may be ordered by contacting the Virginia Hospital & HealthCare Association (VHHA) website. Large quantity orders are available by submitting the online order form. Please note that the booklet is not copyrighted and may be duplicated.
Source: Virginia Department of Health