Virginia Advance Directives
The Department of Veterans Affairs created a suggested Advance Directive form that aims to meet the requirements of every state in the country.
If you complete a state-based form instead of the suggested form, Veterans Affairs health care staff must make every effort to recognize the form as valid and follow it.
Active duty military members and their families may move during their service. Because different states have different rules for advance directives this could present problems. But Congress passed a law that makes clear states must honor ADs of active duty military members.
Current members of the armed forces and veterans can plan ahead for their care like anyone else. There are some specific things to know about, though.
Active Duty Military
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Health Administration require that:
The Veterans Health Administration also provides help on its My HealtheVet website. Advance care planning exercises are in the “Your Life, Your Choices” section.
The Department of Defense (DOD) defines an AD as a written document that has a health care power of attorney and/or a living will. (Notice that it does not mention health care other than life-prolonging treatment nor picking an agent to make mental health care decisions.) The DOD has not created a recommended form for military members and their families to use.
The DOD expects that legal counsel, not health care providers, will help people to complete ADs. If you are a military member or family member of a military member, please talk to your legal counsel for further information.
This website is not intended to provide legal advice. It is merely a guide, and reflects one view of Advance Directives in Virginia. It can be beneficial to consult with an attorney regarding your Advance Directive. However, the intention of Virginia’s law on Advance Directives is to enable and encourage all capable adults to fill out an Advance Directive on their own.
This website is designed and administered by Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) and is funded through a grant by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
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