A Virginia living will is a document that allows an individual to direct doctors and healthcare experts on the type of care that they would like to receive if they ever fell into an incapacitated or terminally ill state. More commonly known as an Advance Healthcare Directive, this document allows a person to specify the treatments, procedures and other methods used to delay the dying process that he or she will consent to and which ones he or she will refuse. Virginia governs all living will documents with Chapter 54 of the Virginia Code which states that these documents may cover any procedure that the Declarant may be subject to that does not involve comfort care or pain alleviation, and that in the same way that this document was written, it can also be revoked; either by a written document, an oral revocation, or by destroying the document. Unlike many other states that require living wills to be in writing, Virginia allows these documents to be oral declarations as well. However, these declarations must be made in the presence of at least two (2) witnesses and an attending physician.
The first step to completing a living will in Virginia is to provide the Declarant's identifying information. This information will consist of his or her first and last name, along with their gender, address, and telephone number. Next, the Advocate will be appointed by providing his or her full name, phone number, and address. Next, the Declarant will detail any medical procedures, interventions, or treatments that he or she will and will not consent to. This section will cover specific instances and name specific procedures. Once this section has been completed and all of the Declarant's wishes have been documented, he or she will then sign the document in the presence of two (2) witnesses and the document will become legally enforceable.