Supporting Advance Medical Directives in Virginia

Virginia’s Health Care Decisions Act (HCDA) was originally adopted in 1992. It has been revised several times, with notable changes by the Virginia General Assembly in 2009 to include new provisions for mental health directives. These changes were based on recommendations made by the Virginia Supreme Court’s Commission on Mental Health Law Reform. It made several recommendations about how to expand the state’s HCDA.

Virginia is working to put the HCDA changes into practice and make all Virginians aware of their rights under the revised HCDA. Many individuals and partners throughout the state have been a part of this work. Projects have included ongoing research about the use of advance directives, providing training for facilitators to support individuals in creating advance medical directives, creation of new user-friendly advance directives, and development of this website as a source of information and support for professionals and community members.

This website was developed primarily through a partnership between the University of Virginia’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy (UVA ILPPP) and Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (VA DBHDS).

Many other collaborators, past and present, have contributed to the success of this project, including:

  • As You Wish​
  • disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV)
  • Honoring Choices Virginia (HCV)
  • Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Virginia (NAMI)
  • Virginia Association of Community Services Boards (VACSB)
  • Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA)
  • Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership (VOCAL)

This website is currently designed and administered by Mental Health America of Virginia and is funded through a grant by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. For questions regarding website content, please contact
Honoring Choices Virginia: