Virginia Advance Directives
Why Should I Think About Making an Advance Directive?
What happens without an AD?
There are ways for treatment to happen if you don’t have an AD. For example, Virginia law gives a list of people that doctors can contact to make decisions for you. But, the list is a “one-size-fits all” list…and it might not be in the order you would want.
(Va. Code §54.1-2986)
What if that list fits my needs?
Even if the list is OK for you, do the people on it know what they need to about what you want and don’t want? For example, your doctor or loved ones may not know about medication side-effects you have had. Or maybe there is a certain doctor you want contacted and involved. You can help the people involved in your treatment by writing such things in an AD.
You are the expert on your health care. Nobody knows better than you do about your health history, your support system, what works for you, and what doesn’t work for you.
So what happens if you cannot make healthcare decisions because of an injury or illness? Your health care team has lost its most important member! But if you have an AD, then your “pre-recorded voice” can still be part of treatment planning.
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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