The VA Advance Directive

The VA makes this advance directive available: VA Advance Directive Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will (VA Form 10-0137).

This advance directive form is an official document where you can write down your preferences for your health care. If someday you can’t make health care decisions for yourself anymore, this advance directive can help guide the people who will make decisions for you. You can use this form to:

Name specific people to make health care decisions for you;   Describe your preferences for how you want to be treated; Describe your preferences for medical care, mental health care, long-term care, or other types of health care.  When you complete this form, it’s important that you also talk to your doctor, family, and other loved ones who may help to decide about your care. You should explain what you meant when you filled out the form. A health care professional can help you with this form and can answer any questions that you have. If you need more space for any part of the form, you may attach extra pages. Be sure to initial and date every page.

 There is a wide variety of religious denominational advance directives which can be attached to the VA Form.  Roman Catholic hospitals abide by strict guidelines which they will adhere to regardless of the patients’ preferences.  Jewish laws require quick burials; no post-mortem procedures such as dissections, organ donations, or autopsies are allowed without a rabbi’s permission. In general, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood products and have their own special advance directives.  All fifty states have statutes concerning living wills.  And so it goes: secular and non-secular concerns inform one’s views on this topic.

My DH and I have not written ours yet.  Why not? After all, we do have preferences and we know we aren’t invincible.  We have a horror of having state officials or courts deciding our fates, especially if we are at death’s door in Vermont, Washington, Oregon, or Montana. I admit to being a bit superstitious about the whole thing.  And Advance Directives guide your decision makers but can’t force them to do as you wish.

If we can’t communicate and the healthcare bills get too high, will Advance Directives really come into play? Say you put ink to paper and state that you prefer a feeding tube and hydration if you become comatose in hopes that you will awaken in the future.  Will society allow you be able to stay in this unproductive condition indefinitely?  Will we really have any control if we can’t communicate in a way that can be understood?


About Laura

NW Vermont.
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3 Responses to The VA Advance Directive

  1. john says:

    I have a queston jan 3rd 2011 I was awarded 50 percent ptsd from military sexual trauma that occured back 1975 this past february 25 2014 my doctors asked me to consider putting in for a secondary claim for bulimia nervosa which I have had also since my discharge in 1975 on august 21st 2014 I had a very long c&p then on sept 11 2014 I was awarded 100 percent total and permanent no future exams I was a little bothered that effective date was the day of c&p on aug 21 2014 instead of day filed in februay 25 2014 the 100 paercent combined rating the secondary rating of bulimia has been diagnosed for few years shouldnt they have paid retro back february instead day cp in august I sent letter requesting earlier effective date and on ebenefits listed as a contentions for earlier effect date will this requst hurt my 100 total permanent and if it could can I cancel the appeal or should I your advise is reall appreciated to ease my mind thank you john

    • asknod says:

      Here’s the drill legally on this one. A claim filed for increase of an existing claim can be back rated one year from date of filing for retro $. The legal requirement is that you provide documented medical evidence showing degree of disability or number of visits proving an increase in disability.
      On the other hand, a claim filed for a new malady or condition is effective on the date of filing.
      With that said, if you file a claim for increase and get a new C&P from the VA showing entitlement to the higher rating, they pay you from that C&P date proving you are X%. You have to provide them with evidence that you were at X% a year previous and then they will pay to that date.
      Many think just because they have had a disease for a decade, when they file and win that VA will pay back to when the disease or injury manifested or got worse. A simple test is always “If I’m SC for it, I get one year previous to filing. If it’s new, it’s date of filing”.

  2. Randy says:

    I find the idea interesting but feign passing along that information along to the VA which, I feel, might use the information as a means of declaring me incompetent and sending off my comp payments to senator whomever. I will debate it further, in my cranial region, before making a final decision.

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