Advanced Directives

As a patient in Virginia you are able to have a say in the health care that you receive. Typically, your health care provider explains your choices for health care and you get to decide what is best for you. But what happens if you are too ill to make those decisions for yourself? Who would you want to make decisions for you? Does this person know what you would or wouldn’t want? Questions like these can be hard to think about, but they are significant. That is why it is important for you to know about a legal form you can complete. It is called an advance directive.

An advance directive is a legal form that helps your health care provider and loved ones understand your wishes about medical and mental health care. It can help them decide about treatments if you are too ill to make those decisions for yourself.

The staff at the Student Health Services is available to help you with your Advance Directive.


Virginia Advance Directive is a collaboration between Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV), the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the University of Virginia and Duke University. It provides information to consumers about advance directives.

Virginia State Bar provides information about advance directives in Virginia, including links to many forms and informative documents.

Department of Veterans Affairs has created a list of frequently asked questions regarding Advance Directives.

  • If you currently have an Advance Directive document, please provide the Student Health Services with a copy.