Senate approves Marleau bill establishing Peace of Mind website

LANSING–A bill to create a website for Michigan residents allowing loved ones and health care providers to know their end-of-life wishes passed the Senate unanimously Thursday, said sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau.
Senate Bill 723 would create the Peace of Mind Registry, a secure database providing health care providers access to a patient's advance directives. If the proposal is enacted, Michigan residents will be the first to have their end-of-life wishes accessible no matter where they travel in the country.
Advance directives are legal documents allowing individuals to specify patient advocates, religious preferences, and other decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time.
"End-of-life health decisions are perhaps the most important personal choices a person can make," said Marleau, chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy. "Making these decisions accessible to doctors, and especially our loved ones, will substantially improve quality of life and give peace of mind."
Currently in Michigan, there is no way for health care provider to access their patients' advance directives. Marleau's bill addresses that need.
Marleau said the registry is not funded by Michigan taxpayers.
"This is a free and voluntary program," he said. "All costs to create and operate the registry are covered by the registry itself." 
SB 723 now moves to the Michigan House of Representatives.