Advance Directives

Advance Directives are oral or written instructions that spell out your wishes to your family, friends, and healthcare providers if you become unable to speak for yourself. The two main types of advance directives include:

  • Living Wills - inform others of your wises about what kind of medical treatment you do or do not want in a medical emergency, at the end of life, or if you have a terminal medical condition
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare - Allows you to appoint a trusted person ("health care agent") to make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to do so

Key points to remember are as follows:

  • Only you (the patient) or your legal representative may review and modify your advance directive.
  • An advance directive can be modified or revoked at any time by the patient.
  • Most advance directive forms do not need to be notorized (varies by state).
  • There are various advance directive forms to choose from, i.e. you do not have to use the form for the state you live but it is advisable to know your state's advance directive policies and procedures.
  • Advance directives do not expire.

writing in med record

Where can you get information about Advance Directives at Naval Health Clinic Pax River?

Information pamphlets on Advance Directives are available from the Medical Records Dept, Customer Service Office, outpatient clinic areas, and the Patient Administration Office. The Customer Relations Officer can assist you in obtaining Advance Directive information and provide sample forms.

Questions about healthcare should be directed to your medical provider, and if there are any questions about the law or your rights related to Advance Directives, we advise you to talk with a lawyer.

For more information:

How does my Advance Directive get into my medical record?

  • If you are new to Pax River, when you check in at the Medical Records department, the staff will ask if you have an advance directive
  • Bring a copy of your advance directive to the Naval Health Clinic Medical Records department. You should keep the original document
  • Medical Records staff will enter a notation in your clinic registration information that you have an advance directive. A hard copy of the directive will then be placed in your outpatient record
  • If you provide a copy of your advance directive to a medical provider at a clinic visit, your provider will then forward the document to Medical Records to be placed in the outpatient record
  • If you change your advance directive in any way, it is your responsibility to provide a copy of the new document to Medical Records to be filed in the outpatient record. It is advisable to notify your primary medical provider of changes to your advance directive



Customer Service Rep