An advance directive allows you to make choices and decisions about your health care and treatment in advance – before you need the care or treatment and while you have capacity.
Choosing your treatment and care in advance is your right and an advance directive is a legal document that enables you to exercise this right.
It incorporates all the functions of a:
- Living Will,
- Health Care Proxy,
- Substitute Decision-maker
- Attorney-in-Fact , and/or
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
An advance directive that is correctly implemented and executed offers you the following benefits:
- Promotes your individual autonomy (independence) and empowerment in the recovery from illness;
- Enhances communication between you and your agent, family, friends, healthcare providers, and other professionals;
- Protects you from being subjected to ineffective, unwanted, or possibly harmful treatments or actions; and
- Helps in preventing crises or the resulting use of involuntary treatment or safety interventions that you may not want, such as restraint and seclusion.