About Advance Directives for Health Care

two doctors conferring

Advance directives for health care are legal documents that enable you to plan for and communicate your end-of-life decisions. Should you become unconscious or too ill to write or speak, they give you a voice in your medical treatment. Without advance directives, these critical decisions could be made by people—including doctors, judges, and family members—with whom you’ve never shared your wishes.

There are two basic documents that allow you to write out your wishes for medical care, both grouped under …