The State of Idaho Considers Placing Advance Directives Online

February 24, 2020

Advanced Directives for Boise Senior's

Boise seniors can register their advance care directive with the registry maintained by the Idaho Secretary of State's office.

According to the Idaho Press, the state created the registry in 2005. There have been approximately 42,000 health care directives filed with the state office since then. The Secretary of State's office is the proper place to submit health care directives, also known as living wills and durable power of attorney. These documents, under state law, allow people to express their wishes about their end-of-life care." Directives include when or if someone wants CPR, life support, a feeding tube, a ventilator, or other medical treatment as they are near death.
What Are Advance Directives?

Advance directives are important instructions for creating an end-of-life care plan. The directives include creating a living will and appointing a medical power of attorney. If a parent or patient becomes unable to express his or her wishes, a living will describe the medical treatment he or she wants to receive in end-of-life. Likewise, the medical power of attorney allows him or her to entrust someone else to make decisions about medical care. 
When someone registers their advance care directive with the registry maintained by the State's office, there is a problem, because a patient's doctor can't look it up online. There is no way for "any health care provider to get access" to a patient's records, according to Betsy Russell, Boise bureau chief, and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press ( The only person who can access the record at the State is the person who filed it. According to the article, Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney told the Idaho Press "that his office probably wasn't the right place for the registry."
The State also claims they do not have expertise in medical matters and are only a "recording place." The lack of access to these records makes it difficult for patients, health care workers, or caregivers in an emergency.
To learn more about the registry click here:
The Idaho Hospital Association (IHA)is working to come up with a better system. Brian Whitlock, IHA president, says it could save millions as well as heartache. IHA is working with the Secretary of State's office to get access to the database, but must first address issues with medical privacy and the proper security to provide internet access to health care providers and others. The State must comply with the federal HIPAA law and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 for its privacy of medical records provisions to provide doctors, and end-of-life caregivers access to this information.
Experts recommend that you make copies of your Health Care directives for all Health Care providers you see and for family and caregivers.
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