The State of Vermont has a set of rules for advance health care directives. It recognizes that adults have a fundamental right to make choices about the extent to which they will receive health care, including care provided while incapacitated and at the end of life stage.
A directive allows you to communicate your health care choices, appoint an agent to make decisions if necessary, and give specific instructions for the disposition of your bodily remains.
Health care providers are defined as “a person, partnership, corporation, facility or institution, licensed or certified or authorized by law to provide professional health care service in Vermont to an individual during that individual’s medical care, treatment, or confinement. The term shall include emergency medical personnel.”
There are other definitions in the law, but this is one of the most important. Such health care providers must follow the instructions provided in the advance directive, regardless of its format.
The actual form of the advance directive is left to the individual, but Vermont has provided links to various kinds of forms and does provide an optional comprehensive advance directive which explains choices and responsibilities.
Vermont law includes directions in regard to:
- Clinician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment
- Do Not Resuscitate Protocols, Orders and Identifications
- Emergency Medical Personnel, and
- Experimental Treatments.
The State also maintains an Advance Directive Registry. This is a voluntary, secure online database that keeps track of directives themselves or the locations of such directives, as well as information on other related documents.
The law also spells out authority and obligations for different types of health care and other providers.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC in Vermont can help with Elder Law questions.