For Your Benefit
For and about Hawaii's military

See also: In The Military

VA affirms patient’s right
to make treatment decisions

Question: Does the VA recognize a veteran's desire to have a living will or other documents that summarize wishes for health care?

Answer: The VA affirms the patient's right to make decisions regarding his/her medical care, including the decision to discontinue treatment.

Each patient has a right to complete a form known as an "advance directive," a written statement that the patient completes in advance of serious illness about which medical decisions he/she wants made in the event the veteran can no long make his or her wishes known. The two most common forms are a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care.

If the veteran chooses to create one, it will be maintained as part of his/her medical record and will be reviewed periodically with the veteran or surrogate decision maker.

For more information, call the VA center at 433-0600.

Q: I would like to donate my husband's burial flag to Punchbowl National Cemetery. Is this possible even though he passed away some time ago?

A: The National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) would be happy to receive your husband's burial flag. Punchbowl utilizes donated burial flags to display an Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and other special events throughout the year. A certificate of appreciation is presented to the donor for providing their loved ones' burial flag to a national cemetery.

For information on how to donate your flag, contact the cemetery at 532-3720.

If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran,
call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049
or visit the VA Web site at
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.

Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin,
can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at


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