What Is a Health Care Directive?

A healthcare directive, also known as a living will or advance directive, is a legal document usually included in an estate plan and outlines the kind of medical care an individual would like to receive if they cannot make decisions for themselves due to illness or incapacity. It provides direction to healthcare providers and family members about the individual's wishes regarding treatment, such as life-sustaining measures, resuscitation, and pain management.

A healthcare directive is important because it ensures that an individual's medical treatment is aligned with their values and beliefs, even if they cannot communicate their wishes themselves. It also helps to avoid conflicts or misunderstandings among family members about what kind of care the individual would have wanted.

In short, a healthcare directive gives individuals control over their medical care and provides peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones by making their wishes clear in advance.

Published: Feb 13, 2023

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

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This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations or warranties about this FAQ's completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability. Each legal situation is unique. Always consult an attorney for personalized guidance.

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