What is an Advance Medical Directive?

An Advance Medical Directive is a modern combination of the oldest medical directive invention, the Living Will, and another planning document, the Durable Medical Power of Attorney. An Advance Medical Directive is a signed, witnessed, and notarized document where you specify your wishes as to medical care and also designate a person, your “agent,” to make those decisions for you. The idea is that your agent is someone you trust to interpret the statement of your wishes instead of a random stranger, like a doctor or hospital administrator. Most states have passed laws recognizing certain forms for Advance Medical Directives and you should follow and use the form provided by the state you reside in.