What is an advance health care directive?
An Advance Health Care Directive allows the appointment of an agent who would be empowered to make medical decisions if you were unable to participate in your own medical decisions. The document also gives the principal the option of directing that heroic medical treatment either be administered or withheld if the principal is terminally ill or in a persistent vegetative state. In addition, the document offers an opportunity to be a willing organ donor and to nominate a guardian, should one ever be necessary. Like the Durable Power of Attorney, this document can be a useful tool for parents of young-adult children, as the Advance Directive can include a HIPPA authorization and thereby permit parents to obtain medical information about the child if the child is unable to do so on their own.