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Attorney Renee C. Walsh

Michigan’s Peace of Mind Registry – Use it To Empower Yourself to Stay in Control

On June 19, 2012, Governor Snyder signed new legislation allowing Michigan residents to voluntarily register their health care directives and organ donation documents with what is called, the “Peace of Mind Registry”. Michigan is the first state to provide for this secure database.

When a patient is unable to communicate for themselves, the health care provider can access the registry to view the patient’s advance directives. If the files have been registered, the health care provider can find out the name and contact information for the patient’s patient advocate, along with their registered preferences and directions for making health care decisions.

What qualifies as a “directive” and how is it filed? A “directive” is a document that is registered or filed with the peace of mind registry and that is either:

(i) A durable power of attorney and designation of patient advocate under part 5 of article V of the estates and protected individuals code, 1998 PA 386, MCL 700.5501 to 700.5520, or

(ii) A signed or authorized record concerning an anatomical gift containing a donor’s direction concerning a health care decision for the donor under the revised uniform anatomical gift law, sections 10101 to 10123.

The registry is accessible, for free, to registrants, health care providers, and the department by way of a designated user identification and password. A person can mail in or upload a .pdf to the registry. If a registrant wants to make changes to their documents, summit a revocation or merely submit another and the most recently signed directive will supersede the earlier directive. A health care provider can transmit a patient’s directives right into their respective electronic medical records.

Individuals who file a directive with the registry will receive a receipt along with a wallet-sized card indicating that they have a directive in the registry.

The registry is overseen by the Michigan Department of Community Health. They in turn have contracted with and delegated the creation, operation, and maintenance of the registry to the Michigan’s Gift of Life Foundation, which provides the financial support, as opposed to taxpayer dollars.

In order to contact the registry, visit Gift of Life Foundation or call 1-800-482-4881.

A visit to giftoflifemichigan.org and answering of a couple questions, takes you to the Secretary of State’s website, so I recommend starting here. It appears that one has to donate an organ in order to register via the website. Please let us know if this is true. Under the law, however, there is no such requirement and one can merely file the directive by sending it in the mail, thus avoiding the organ donation aspect if that is desired.

Relevant link: Planning for your … Peace of Mind – A Guide to Medical and Legal Decisions provided by State of Michigan.

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