The federal Bureau of Prisons cares for some 193,000 inmates at 114 medical and correctional facilities. Currently, inmates are provided the opportunity of completing a standard state-specific statutory advance directive, which is applicable only as long as they remain in that state.
However, interstate transfers of inmates between federal facilities are not uncommon. Following a transfer, staff must again assist the inmate with the time-consuming task of completing a new advance directive document, in order to remain in compliance with the federal Patient Self-Determination Act and other regulations.
The burdens associated with continuously readdressing advance directives are unnecessary. Guidelines found in the "Code of Federal Regulations" (CFR) as well as specific sections of the "United States Code" (USC) have foreseen these concerns, and both have been used to design universally applicable advance directives for individuals cared for through the nationwide Veterans Administration system, as well as for active duty members of the military who are also transferred often.
The "United States Code" and the "Code of Federal Regulations" specify that they are written to provide "statutory and regulatory guidelines for the executive departments and agencies of the federal government" (see CFR, GPOAccess.gov). Further, both codes specifically address advance directives, and both recognize that individuals under the care and control of the federal government may be relocated frequently and thus need an advance directive that retains validity regardless of the changing settings.
The CFR specifies that a CFR code-compliant advance directive "...will be recognized throughout..." all federal systems (§17.32(h)).
Even more pointedly, the US Code allows for the creation of an advance directive that is "exempt from any requirement of form, substance, formality, or recording under the laws of any state, commonwealth, territory, district, or possession of the United States" (§1044c(a)).
Whenever invoked and applied, any code-compliant documents must simply be followed in accordance with "the law of the state that gives effect to the expressed wishes in the advance directive" (CFR, §17.32(a)(iii)), and shall then "be given the same legal effect as an advance medical directive prepared and executed in accordance with the laws of the State concerned" (see: US Code, §1044c(a)).
Based upon these codes and regulations, the Lifecare Federal Inmate Advance Directive retains validity regardless of inmate moves between facilities throughout the federal system. Finally, there is now an inmate advance directive that can simply be transferred along with other requisite paperwork at the time of any move. The additional burdens of re-completing another advance directive need no longer be incurred.
The Content-Enriched Federal Inmate Directive
More than a decade of research has gone into designing the content of all Lifecare advance directives, including the Federal Inmate Advance Directive. This is especially important within the federal Bureau of Prisons, where preventable end-of-life decision-making delays and other unnecessary court demands and involvement can be especially burdensome. By providing inmates with the Lifecare advance directive, they will be able to thoroughly address all essential planning issues in advance, thereby avoiding unnecessary burdens.
The Federal Inmate Advance Directive can be obtained through the "Ordering" page of this website, within the "Professional Resources" section of the shopping cart. Single-copy cost is $7.99; significant bulk order discounts can be arranged.
The Federal Inmate Representative Directive
There will also be circumstances where an inmate has previously declined to complete and advance directive, or where he or she has completed only a content-limited document that does not fully address all advance planning needs. Should the inmate later lose decision-making capacity, current practice is to turn to a surrogate decision-maker such as a family member, or to petition for a court-appointed guardian or conservator.
The Lifecare "Federal Inmate Representative Directive" has been designed to facilitate comprehensive and timely advance planning either of in these situations. Crafted by way of applicable codes and regulations, this post-competence advance planning document can greatly expedite quality surrogate decision-making, reduce the need for court oversight, facilitate timely treatment decisions, and in many other ways alleviate the many potential burdens and delays that might otherwise occur.
The Federal Inmate Representative Directive and supporting documents can be obtained through the "Ordering" page of this website, and located within the "Professional Resources" section of the shopping cart.
BULK ORDER RATES: Every effort will be made to provide the Federal Inmate Directive at costs comparable to that which is now incurred. Contact Lifecare to discuss quotes and options.
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