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Frequently Asked Questions About Advance Directives
VA Medical Advance Directive for Health care.pdf
Who should complete an Advance Directive?
Short answer: Everyone
Everyone needs health care
Everyone is subject to circumstances under which the presence of an AD is in their best interest
This is true no matter how good one’s health may be
When is the time to complete an Advance Directive?
Now is as good of a time as any
It can be counterproductive to wait until a person’s health is declining
Persons should be encouraged to think through the issues and make informed decisions when they are healthy
This is true of young persons as well as older adults
May I Change My Mind?
You may amend or revoke your Advance Directive any time and the changes will be effective when they are communicated to your health care proxy, health care provider, or facility.
What happens in an Emergency?
It is not always possible to determine the chances of survival in an emergency. After the initial emergency has passed a prognosis for recovery can be determined.
Your Advance Directive would come into play if you were unable to speak for your self
How long is my Advance Directive valid?
Unless the document states a time of termination, an Advance Directive is valid until you revoke it.
Do I need an attorney or notary to complete an Advance Directive?
It is not necessary.
What do I do after I complete an Advance Directive?
Share copies with your family, surrogate decision-makers, physician, attorney, and your clergy person
Keep copies where you can easily get to them
Always take a copy with you to the hospital
What if the doctor or health care facility is unwilling to comply with my Advance Directive?
In accordance with the law, health care providers and facilities should transfer you to another provider or facility that will comply with your Advance Directive and treatment decisions.
Many institutions, like Centra, have Medical Ethics committees to assist when there are unresolved issues