There are two types of advance directives:
Appointment of an Agent
You may authorize another person, such as a spouse, child, or friend, to be your “agent” or “proxy” to make decisions for you if you become incapable of making informed healthcare decisions for yourself. You can also specifically tell your agent what kinds of care you do and do not want. This authorization is, in legal terms, often called a “Power of Attorney for Healthcare.”
Written Health Care Directive
You may also state what kinds of healthcare you want or do not want if you are determined to be unable to express your own wishes. These instructions are often referred to as a “living will.”
At Honoring Choices® Virginia, we use a form known as the “Virginia statutory form.” This document was created by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and the Virginia State Bar, and is therefore easily recognized by emergency providers as a legally valid document.
There are a number of other forms that may be appropriate given your individual goals:
- Virginia Advance Directive for Health Care with Special Provisions for Mental Health Conditions (pdf posted 08/12/2015)
- Virginia Advance Directive for Health Care with Special Provisions for Mental Health Conditions and Pregnancy (pdf posted 08/12/2018)
- Advance directive registry
- Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services & UVa Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy
- Virginia POST Collaborative
- Virginia State Bar
Request a Presentation
Is your community group interested in learning how to plan for future medical decisions? Honoring Choices® Virginia offers advance care planning presentations to community organizations in the Greater Richmond area.