Most people know that is a good idea to have written instructions about who can make their medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated. But even people who have created such documents are often unsure where to store them or who should have copies. In recent years, several online services have popped up that will store the documents electronically, for a fee. Now the Michigan Legislature has created a FREE “peace of mind” registry for Michigan residents.

How Does It Work?

The registry is voluntary and allows a registrant to store a durable power of attorney, a designation of patient advocate and/or a signed directive about organ donation. The registry will be accessible to registrants and health care providers with a user identification and password. Once an individual files documents with the registry, he will receive a wallet-sized card indicating that he has a directive in the registry.

Where Can I Find More Information?

The Michigan Department of Community Health, Secretary of State and the Department of Human Services will all be updating their websites to promote awareness of the advantages of creating directives and the availability of the registry. The websites will soon be updated to include instructions for submitting documents into the registry.

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