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Advance Directive Forms

Many people are familiar with Vermont's original forms for Advance Directives known as the Terminal Care Document or Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. In use since the 1980s, the first document was used only if the person who signed it was dying and the second allowed its signer to appoint an agent to speak for him or her in certain health care situations.

In 2005, as a result of a study by the Attorney General's Task Force on Improving End-of-life Care and the passage of Act 55, the two forms were combined into one. The new form Vermont Advance Directive for Health Care [updated and improved Aug 2011] provides the opportunity for a more comprehensive expression of a person's wishes.

For those who want to be more specific about their wishes and to consider all the options made available, the Vermont Department of Health developed a Long Form Advance Directive which details a person's wishes and values, including allowing the agent and medical team to disregard a patient's objections to treatment (Ulysses Clause).

For information about including mental health care preferences in your Advance Directive, you may want to use the Disability Rights Vermont Advance Directive Form. For further information please contact Disability Rights Vermont at 1-800-834-7890 or through their website.

Any Advance Directive form that is properly signed and witnessed is legal in Vermont. It can be as long or as short as you wish, be based on forms from other states (such as Five Wishes), or be one that is specially designed for you and your needs.