If you’re ready to put your wishes into writing, there are a number of formats you can choose from to help you translate your future care preferences into a legally valid document.
In most cases in Virginia, you simply need a signed document that outlines your preferences and is witnessed by two individuals. You can complete an advance medical directive on your own, work with an attorney or your health care provider, or collaborate with a certified advance care planning facilitator.
- Connect with a local advance care planning specialist.
- Connect with an Honoring Choices partner organization.
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.
Make your Document Accessible
Next, you’ll want to make sure your document is accessible. It may seem logical to store your document in safe place like the bank; however, crises rarely happen during banking hours! Instead, keep your document in a place that is accessible at any time.
- Share copies of your advance medical directive with your health care agent, your loved ones, your primary care physician, any specialists involved in your care, and your attorney.
- Provide a copy of your advance medical directive to your hospital-of-choice, and always bring a copy to pre-operative appointments.
- Upload your document to the Virginia Advance Directive Registry. This secure portal is made available through the Virginia Department of Health.
Finally, your advance medical directive should be a living document! Revisit your decisions frequently – at least once every decade, after a new diagnosis, following the death of a loved one, in the event of a marriage or divorce, and if you’ve experienced a change in your health.
Connect With Us
A local advance care planning specialist is here to help.