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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The statutes were updated in November, 2018, and contain all actions of the
2018 legislative session.

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 231 : ADVANCE DIRECTIVES FOR HEALTH CARE, DISPOSITION OF REMAINS, AND SURROGATE DECISION MAKING

Subchapter 001 : ADVANCE DIRECTIVES AND DISPOSITION OF REMAINS

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 9703)
  • § 9703. Form and execution

    (a) An adult with capacity may execute an advance directive at any time.

    (b) The advance directive shall be dated, executed by the principal or by another individual in the principal's presence at the principal's express direction if the principal is physically unable to do so, and signed in the presence of two or more witnesses at least 18 years of age, who shall sign and affirm that the principal appeared to understand the nature of the document and to be free from duress or undue influence at the time the advance directive was signed. A health care provider may serve as a witness to the principal's execution of the advance directive under this subsection. If the principal is being admitted to or is a resident of a nursing home or residential care facility or is being admitted to or is a patient in a hospital at the time of execution, the individual who explained the nature and effect of the advance directive to the principal pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) of this section may also serve as one of the witnesses to the principal's execution of the advance directive under this subsection.

    (c) Neither the agent appointed by the principal nor the principal's spouse, parent, adult sibling, adult child, or adult grandchild may witness the advance directive.

    (d)(1) An advance directive shall not be effective if, at the time of execution, the principal is being admitted to or is a resident of a nursing home as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 7102 or a residential care facility, unless one of the following individuals explains the nature and effect of an advance directive to the principal and signs a statement affirming that he or she has provided the explanation:

    (A) an ombudsman;

    (B) a recognized member of the clergy;

    (C) an attorney licensed to practice in this State;

    (D) a Probate Division of the Superior Court designee;

    (E) an individual designated by a hospital pursuant to subsection 9709(d) of this title;

    (F) a mental health patient representative;

    (G) an individual who is volunteering at the nursing home or residential care facility without compensation and has received appropriate training regarding the explanation of advance directives; or

    (H) a clinician, as long as the clinician is not employed by the nursing home or residential care facility at the time of the explanation.

    (2) It is the intent of this subsection to ensure that residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities are willingly and voluntarily executing advance directives.

    (e) An advance directive shall not be effective if, at the time of execution, the principal is being admitted to or is a patient in a hospital, unless one of the following individuals has explained the nature and effect of an advance directive to the principal and signs a statement affirming that he or she has provided the explanation:

    (1) an ombudsman;

    (2) a recognized member of the clergy;

    (3) an attorney licensed to practice in this State;

    (4) a Probate Division of the Superior Court designee;

    (5) an individual designated by the hospital pursuant to subsection 9709(d) of this title; or

    (6) a mental health patient representative.

    (f) A durable power of attorney for health care, terminal care document, or advance directive executed prior to the enactment of this chapter shall be a valid advance directive if the document complies with the statutory requirements in effect at the time the document was executed or with the provisions of this chapter. (Added 2005, No. 55, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, effective February 1, 2011; 2013, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2015, No. 23, § 48; 2017, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 3, 2018.)