The term “advance directive” can describe a variety of documents which set forth your instructions about the healthcare that you want in the future. Advance directives include documents such as a “living will” or a “health care power of attorney.” To the extent that you are able to make your own medical care decisions and communicate those decisions, these directives are inoperative. The directive would only be used if you were non-communicative.
A Living Will is typically operative when someone is near death, while a Medical Power of Attorney for Healthcare is operative at any time when someone is unable to intelligently communicate their instructions for their own medical care.
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