Living Will

Making Decisions
Who Can Make Decisions For Me?
Now That You Have Registered
How It Works
Informed Consent
What Is A Code
Planning For Your Estate
What To Do With These Forms
Download Forms

Making Decisions

In Washington State you have the right to make your own healthcare decisions. (The laws regarding these decisions differ from state to state.) These are decisions that you, your family, and your doctor make regarding your healthcare. These decisions can be simple, such as choosing your meals, or more difficult, such as whether or not to receive life-sustaining treatments. How can you be sure that your choices will be honored if you are incapacitated?

Every American, regardless of age, faces this question. If you plan now, you can be assured you get the kind of care you want, and relieve your family of burdensome decisions. Make your choices known by completing and advance directive.

Who Can Make Decisions For Me?

Washington State law enables the following people, in order of priority, to make healthcare decisions for you, should you lose the ability to communicate and make decisions.

 

  • A guardian with healthcare decision-making authority, if one has been appointed.
  • The person named in the durable power of attorney with healthcare decision-making authority.
  • Your spouse
  • Your adult children
  • Your parents
  • Your adult brothers and sisters
  •  

Now That You Have Registered

Once registered, you are registered for life. If you register your advance directive, you will receive an update form annually so that your information will always be current.

The registry provides this service free of charge through its member Health Care Providers and Community Partners so that everyone can participate, and cost will never prevent anyone from registering these important documents. Because only healthcare providers (hospitals, doctors, skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, home health agencies, providers of home health care, ambulatory surgery centers, and hospices) have access to your documents, your privacy and confidentiality are always maintained. 

How It Works

After your document is registered, you will receive notification by mail, along with labels to attach to your driver's license and insurance card stating that you are registered with the U.S. Living Will Registry. Once registered, your documents and emergency contact information will be available to healthcare providers across the country. You will have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be available whenever and wherever they are needed. Your family will not have to make difficult decisions on your behalf.

To obtain a list of the member Health Care Providers and Community Partners in your area visit uslivingwillregistry.com. 

Informed Consent

Under the principle "informed consent," your medical care must be explained so you can understand it and can make informed decisions. Upon admission to the hospital for a procedure, you will be asked to sign an informed consent verifying that you understand and agree to the procedures and/or treatment that is planned for you.

It is important to let your physician and loved ones know your wishes for treatment should you ever be near death and unable to express them. Most health facilities assume you want all available medical treatment, including life-sustaining care, unless you direct otherwise. 

What Is A Code?

A code (resuscitation) is a set of potentially life-saving procedures performed on a person whose heart and/or lungs have suddenly stopped functioning. Current healthcare practice requires that attempts at resuscitation must be made unless otherwise specified.

Calling 911 will activate all resuscitation efforts despite previous decisions, unless you have executed an "Emergency Medical Services-No CPR" form or bracelet. It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your wishes in a readily accessible location for emergency medical staff, such as keeping it on top of the refrigerator. 

Planning For Your Estate

In addition to planning your future medical care, you may also want to make advanced arrangements for the distribution of your estate, in the event of your death. Consider consulting an attorney or planned giving specialist at a trusted charity. They can help pursue planned giving options that reflect your priorities, values, and financial objectives. Valley Medical Center's planned giving specialst can be reached at 425-228-3440, Ext. 5687. 

What To Do With These Forms

In order for your advanced directive to be useful, it has to be accessible, When the time comes to find the document, it is usually unavailable, placed away long ago for safekeeping. By registering your documents with the U.S. Living Will Registry you can rest assured that hospitals and healthcare providers have access when necessary. Valley Medical Center is a member of the U.S. Living Will Registry. The Registry is a free service to you and it eliminates worries about carrying your advance directive with you, as well as problems finding it should you become ill. Store your advance directive with the U.S. Living Will Registry by completing one of the following two steps:

If you have questions or you need help filling out these forms call 425.226.4653.

Step 1. If you have an existing advance directive, obtain a copy and attach it to the completed registration agreement. (The registration agreement gives the registry permission to store your advance directive.) Mail to: U.S. Living Will Registry, 523 Westfield Avenue, P.O. Box 2789, Westfield, New Jersey 07091-2789.

Step 2. If you do not have an advance directive, complete the applicable form(s), attach to the registration agreement and mail.

Finally, you are encouraged to give copies of your directives to your physician for your medical record, to the person to whom you give durable power of attorney, your family, your personal attorney, and the U.S. Living Will Registry. 

Healthcare Directive (PDF)
Durable Power Of Attorney For Healthcare (PDF)
U.S. Living Will Registry Registration Agreement (PDF)