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Registering your Living Will or Advance Health Directives in Charlestown, MA

Registering your Living Will or Advance Health Directives in Charlestown, MA


Death never comes at the right time, despite what mortals believe. Death always comes like a thief.
 
- Christopher Pike


You've created a living will or an advance health directive. Excellent. Don't stop there. You have to make sure that others know about the existence of these documents. Giving copies of your advance directives to your trusted friends, immediate family members, doctor, health facilities and health care agent can ensure that your wishes can be enacted when the right time comes.

Putting your Advance Health Directives into the official state registry can help to ensure that health care professionals will know what your wishes are during end of life care.

What is an advance directive registry?

In the past few years, the states have created registries for living wills and advance directives. This will record your health care documents with the state. The database of this registry is maintained by medical professionals and is accessible by healthcare professionals who are treating you.

There is a small fee to register you documents. Depending on the state, some require a complete advance directive form when you register, others give you the option to only register the basic details of your document like the contact number of your health care agent and where the form is located.


Many states provide a wallet card after you register. You can carry this with you and can also give copies of this card to others as a reminder of the existence of you advance directive wishes document on the registry, so care givers can look up your information on it when a medical emergency occurs.


What to Use: Your State Living Will or Advance Directive Registry?

Since hospitals don't routinely check the registry when the patient has been admitted to a hospital, you should carry a card or a backup document so that doctors and health facilities know what your wishes are. It is also a good idea to let family members and loved ones know about the advance directives, so they can alert care givers to its existence.

If you update or revoke your living will or advance directives, please make sure to update your registration.

 
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