Support for retaining regulation [12 VAC 5-67], Advance Health Care Directive Registry,
It is the position of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Virginia Blue Ridge that regulation
[12 VAC 5-67], Advance Health Care Directive Registry, should be retained.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance, of which I am a member, works to educate and encourage people to have Advance Health Care documents in place and to seriously consider what treatments and interventions are acceptable to them. Communication between family members after these decisions have been made is often not easy or clear. The existence of the Registry itself adds legitimacy to a person’s decision process and thus provides support to family members to accept those decisions.
Citizens have submitted documents to this registry in order to assure these documents can be obtained in some future serious medical circumstance. Citizens should have assurance that the promised availability exists. Situations in which a health care power of attorney or advance directive may be required are always serious and often urgent. When someone has made intentional decisions on end of life care, these documents provide guidance to others, both family and medical personnel. The Registry retrieval of these documents, in a timely and clearly identified manner, facilitates optimal care.
The very existence of the Advance Health Care Directive Registry serves to emphasize the importance of these end of life documents. Studies show that the presence of Advance directives yields lower medical costs. In the case of extreme medical situations when a patient is comatose or otherwise incapacitated, access to this registry can have tremendous impact by avoidance of costly medical treatments that might otherwise be initiated.
Routine hospital admission procedures include asking a patient if these documents are in place. The fact that this question is asked when a patient is being re-admitted indicates that even in the medical system, retrieval is not always easy. The Advance Health Care Directive Registry provides a clearly identified resource for access to these documents.
Retaining the Advance Health Care Registry serves to support the individual citizen, medical personnel and institutions, and social and economic concerns.