DOJ: News Release

McGrath Announces Registry for End-of-Life Directives

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath Tuesday announced the availability of the Montana End-of-Life Registry, a free statewide service that helps Montanans record their wishes for end-of-life care.

“Decisions about end-of-life medical care are deeply personal,” McGrath said, “and it’s important that they are made and documented well in advance of a terminal illness or medical emergency.”

The registry gives health care providers and consumers access to advance directives that are stored electronically.

“The registry is an extremely effective way to ensure that your wishes are known and respected,” McGrath said. “Our registry will make sure that people who need the information will have access to it.”

Here’s how it works:

  • A consumer submits a valid, signed advance directive and a registration form to the Department of Justice.
  • The DOJ enters the directive into a secure, web-based database and sends the consumer a wallet card and labels with an access code. The consumer can then access the registry and view his directive.
  • In the event the person is terminally ill or gravely injured and unable to speak for himself, a health care provider can use the code to access the registry and view the filed directive.

Registered health care providers may also search the database 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether a patient has filed a directive.

The registry does not provide legal advice or legal services, McGrath said, stressing that consumers should consult with their physicians, attorneys, family members and other advisers about end-of-life care.

And McGrath noted the system is secure.

“Only information relevant to the directive appears on the screen,” McGrath said. “Personal identifiers – like a Social Security number, for example – are not displayed.”

The registry is the product of the collaboration between the Department of Justice, the Montana Palliative Care Coalition, the Department of Administration Information Technology Services Division and Montana Interactive, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment provider NIC (Nasdaq: EGOV).

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