What Is a Health Care Directive? Find Out With DoNotPay!

Advance Health Care Directive What Is a Health Care Directive? Find Out With DoNotPay!

What Is a Health Care Directive? Find Your Answer in DoNotPay’s Straightforward Guide!

It is never easy to discuss death or severe illness, making one unable to make decisions about their health care. It is crucial to do so on time if we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic when a ventilator made a difference between life and death.

What is a health care directive? It is a guarantee that your wishes regarding your health care are followed even when you are incapacitated. DoNotPay can help you create this sensitive document with ease.

What Is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An advance health care directive is a general term for a legal document with instructions on how you want to be treated in serious medical situations when you are incapacitated or unable to express your wishes. The directive appoints an agent to make health care decisions for you when you can no longer do it yourself, be it because of a severe injury or illness.


The typical issues include whether:

  • You want to be treated in a hospital or at home
  • You should be placed on life support or receive a life-sustaining treatment
  • An autopsy can be performed and your organs donated

There are specific rules for a medical power of attorney for children, so make sure to check them out.

Other Names and Types of Advance Health Care Directive

An advance health care directive goes by many names, but you should be careful because some states view these seemingly identical documents as different, as is the case with a health care proxy and a power of attorney, for example.

Check out the alternative names for AHCD and the appointed agent in the table below:

Advance Health Care Directive Agent
  • Medical directive
  • Health care power of attorney
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Advance directive
  • Durable power of attorney for health care
  • Advance decision
  • Personal directive
  • Attorney-in-fact
  • Medical proxy
  • Patient advocate
  • Health care representative
  • Health care proxy
  • Health care surrogate

Is an Advance Directive the Same as a Living Will?

A living will is a type of advance directive. This document is used to state your wishes about the treatment when you can no longer communicate. A living will generally addresses your end-of-life medical treatment preferences and does not require an executive agent. It contains instructions for the medical staff.

To create a living will, you must complete a living will form. You should find out whether your state recognizes the difference between the two documents. If that is the case, you should decide which one applies to your situation.

How Can You Create an Advance Health Care Directive?

If you wish to make the document, you must create or complete an advance care form. Since it deals with such serious matters, don’t attempt to draw it up yourself unless you possess the required legal knowledge.

The wisest options are:

  1. Hiring a lawyer
  2. Using DoNotPay

The cost of attaining a living will or health care directive with the help of a lawyer can be sky-high. Luckily, DoNotPay can handle the task with equal success at an affordable price.

Draw Up an Advance Health Care Directive With DoNotPay

DoNotPay can help you draft an advanced health care directive according to the local laws of the state you live in. We will deliver a rock-solid document containing all the relevant information. You only need to:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Open the Advance Health Care Directive tool
  3. Appoint your agent and provide the requisite medical information
  4. Let us know which powers you appoint to your agent

You must also enter the names of individuals who will witness the signing of the document to make it legally binding.

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