Advance mental health directives; may set procedures or instructions with regard to treatment. (HB1004)

Introduced By

Del. Rob Bell (R-Charlottesville) with support from 11 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield), Del. Clay Athey (R-Front Royal), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Richmond), Del. Don Merricks (R-Danville), Del. Ed Scott (R-Culpeper), Del. Beverly Sherwood (R-Winchester), Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson), Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Advance directives; mental health. Allows for mental health advance directives, by following the same procedures as for medical advance directives. A mental health advance directive may set forth procedures or instructions with regard to mental health treatment, including consent to or refusal of mental health treatment. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 081452432
01/08/2008Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
01/29/2008Continued to 2009 in Health, Welfare and Institutions
12/04/2008Left in Health, Welfare and Institutions


Alison Hymes writes:

"B. To consent to or refuse or withdraw consent to any type of mental health care, treatment, or diagnostic procedure, including any medication, electroconvulsive treatment, or physical restraint or seclusion;"

Seclusion and restraint are not "treatments". They are clinical failures of treatment. There are also already rules and regulations, state and federal, governing the use of seclusion and restraint that would not allow anyone to "agree" to their use for someone else unless that person is a medical professional responsible for the patient's care. Allowing an agent to consent to ECT is allowing an agent to force ECT, a brain-damaging procedure on an unwilling person. This is equivalent to torture. See the case of Ray Sandford whose appointed guardian has allowed him to suffer outpatient ECT against his wishes every week and now every other week, including on Christmas Eve. We already have AR's consenting to ECT for patients despite the protests of Local Human Rights Committees. Virginia should not be in the business of torturing its citizens.