What is an advance directive for health care?

An advance directive for health care is a document allowing you to designate someone (known as an agent or health care proxy) to make health care decisions on your behalf following your incapacity.  Advance directives include directions for your agent/health care proxy regarding the following:

  1. Elective surgical decisions
  2. Advocating for health care needs
  3. End of life decisions (withdrawal of life support, including nourishment and hydration), also called living will designations
  4. Housing and medical facility placement