Advanced Medical Directive Attorney Virginia

An advance medical directive is a legal document that allows a person to state what they want for their own medical care if they are unable to make decisions for themselves due to incapacity.

In Virginia, advance medical directives are authorized under the Virginia Health Care Decisions Act.

An Advance Medical Directive may be used to:

  • Direct that a specific procedure or treatment be provided, such as artificially administered hydration (fluids) or nutrition (feeding);
  • Direct that a specific procedure or treatment be withheld; or
  • Appoint a person to act as your agent in making health care decisions for you, if it is determined that you are unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself. This includes the decision to make anatomical gifts of a specific part or parts of your body via organ and tissue donation, or of all of your body.

Without an Advanced Medical Directive and a Living Will, you run the following risks:

  • You will receive medical treatment that you would prefer not to have
  • You may be kept alive indefinitely with no chance of recovery
  • Your estate may be vastly diminished by unwanted medical expenses

If you do not have any type of advance directive, the decision to withdraw treatment will be made by your family, your doctor and the hospital. If an agreement cannot be reached between these parties, a court may have to resolve the conflict.

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An Advanced Medical Directive is NOT the same as Do Not Resuscitate Order

The DNR is a written order issued by a physician to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation for the patient in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest.

A DNR is not an Advanced Medical Directive. Unlike an AMD, a DNR order requires a physician’s signature, along with the patient and two witnesses.

In certain cases the Advance Directive can be oral but a DNR cannot. While the DNR must be written, it can be revoked by the patient verbally.

If you are not hospitalized, you can complete a Virginia DNR form that alerts EMS who respond to emergencies at home, in hospice facilities, or elsewhere.

Contact Slovensky Law to discuss your options today!

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