Westfield, New Jersey — (February 25, 2008) — The U.S. Living Will Registry today announced its agreement with the state of Nevada to set up its new advance directive registry. The Registry will utilize its proprietary software system and extensive experience to develop and manage the advance directive registry created by recent legislation. Details of the contract terms were not released. The U.S. Living Will Registry currently manages statewide advance directive registries for Vermont and Washington.
“Using the U.S. Living Will Registry allowed us to be operational much sooner and with lower costs than building our own proprietary system,” said William Apao, Director of Health Surveillance for the Vermont Department of Health. The service is provided free of charge to Vermont residents.
“Our system is ideally suited for states,” said Dr. Joseph T. Barmakian, who founded the Registry in 1996. “We can easily customize the web pages and functions to match the particular requirements of each state’s laws and regulations, making it a turn-key operation with a quick, low-cost startup,” he continued.
Advance directives, commonly known as living wills and health care proxies, are legal documents that allow a person to make their health care wishes known if they are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. In a health care proxy (health care power of attorney), a person names someone to make decisions for them. Interest in advance directives increased dramatically with nationwide attention to the case of Floridian Terri Schiavo. Ms. Schiavo was in a chronic vegetative state, and did not have an advance directive. Her family members disagreed on removing her feeding tube, sending the case to the courts. The Florida legislature, governor, U.S. House of Representatives, Senate and President Bush all became involved in the decision, prompting many to prepare their own advance directive so as to spare their families a similar fate.
The U.S. Living Will Registry is the leading provider of advance directive management services in the country. Providing this service for more than ten years, The U.S. Living Will Registry is the largest secure web-based repository of advance directive documents in North America. For more information, visit www.uslivingwillregistry.com.