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A Healthcare Directive is the written plan you make for your future medical treatments. A Healthcare Directive also is the document in which you can identify someone to communicate your wishes if you are unable to do so – this person is your healthcare agent, also known as a power of attorney for healthcare. A healthcare directive describes the medical treatments and life-sustaining measures you would or would not want if you were unable to speak for yourself.
No. However, completing a Healthcare Directive helps to make sure your family and healthcare team follow your wishes. It is also valuable to have a quality conversation with the important people in your life about your values and goals for care across the continuum of life.
You must be 18 years old to create a Healthcare Directive. The document must:
You may be as specific or general as you wish. Specific statements, however, can:
A healthcare agent is a person who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make or communicate decisions yourself. A healthcare agent makes sure your healthcare team follows what you specify in your Healthcare Directive.