United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 25, 2023
Advance medical directives of members and dependents: requirement for recognition by States
An advance medical directive executed by a person eligible for legal assistance—
is exempt from any requirement of form, substance, formality, or recording that is provided for advance medical directives under the laws of a State; and
shall be given the same legal effect as an advance medical directive prepared and executed in accordance with the laws of the State concerned.
For purposes of this section, an advance medical directive is any written declaration that—
sets forth directions regarding the provision, withdrawal, or withholding of life-prolonging procedures, including hydration and sustenance, for the declarant whenever the declarant has a terminal physical condition or is in a persistent vegetative state; or
authorizes another person to make health care decisions for the declarant, under circumstances stated in the declaration, whenever the declarant is incapable of making informed health care decisions.
Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned, an advance medical directive prepared by an attorney authorized to provide legal assistance shall contain a statement that sets forth the provisions of subsection (a).
Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to make inapplicable the provisions of subsection (a) to an advance medical directive that does not include a statement described in that paragraph.
Subsection (a) does not make an advance medical directive enforceable in a State that does not otherwise recognize and enforce advance medical directives under the laws of the State.
In this section:
The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and a possession of the United States.
The term “person eligible for legal assistance” means a person who is eligible for legal assistance under section 1044 of this title.
The term “legal assistance” means legal services authorized under section 1044 of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title VII, § 749(a)(1),
Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 388.)
cite as: 10 USC 1044c