Use Your Smartphone to Document Your Advance Directives

Earlier this summer, I published a post (probably not for the first time!) about the importance of documenting your wishes for end-of-life care.  Currently, only about 30% of adults over age 50 have done so.

As reported n the May-June issue of Bifocal, the Elder Law Journal published by the American Bar Association, new laws in Maryland and New Jersey are trying to make this easier to accomplish by allowing adults to record their end-of-life wishes on video that is then saved in a secure site.

Rather than setting up its own registry for recorded advance directives, Maryland has endorsed mydirectives.com, which claims to have the  first web-based HIPAA-compliant tool for the creation and storage of advance  directives. (Currently, the mobile app is only available on iPhones, but an Android app is in development.) The site not only allows subscribers to create videos, but they can also upload and store related documents, such as POST forms or other living wills.  The service is free to consumers, but  the database is sold to hospitals and health insurance providers, who can access the records of patients who have given the required pre-approval.

Even in the majority of states, where video directives have not replaced the requirement for paper documents, family members and healthcare providers appreciate the opportunity to hear a person’s wishes when she was able to articulate them.

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