For Immediate Release
Contact: Russ Burd
U.S. Living Will Registry (703) 625-7607
Westfield, New Jersey — (November 1, 2006) — The U.S. Living Will Registry today announced its agreement with the Vermont Department of Health to operate the State of Vermont’s Advance Directive Registry. Through this relationship the U.S. Living Will Registry will leverage its proprietary software platform and operations infrastructure to support a statewide registry providing the citizens of Vermont with the ability to register their advance directive and organ donation information. Vermont enacted the law requiring creation of a registry of advance directives in September 2005, and since then, the Vermont Department of Health has been working to make it a reality.
“Using the U.S. Living Will Registry will allow 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 Vermont registry is scheduled to be operational by the end of this year. The service is provided free of charge to Vermont residents.
“Our system is designed to be scalable from individuals to states, health systems, insurers and national organizations. We provide a safe and secure place to store the documents, and make them available 24 hours a day wherever they are needed,” said Dr. Joseph T. Barmakian, who founded the Registry in 1996. “Vermont is clearly a progressive state in the area of advance directives, and we are excited to be their partner in providing this valuable service to the citizens of Vermont,” continued Barmakian.
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.