A Health Care Directive, also known as a Living Will, is a document that instructs your family and health care personnel what your wishes are as to your health and body in the event that tragedy strikes and you become incapacitated.
A Health Care Agent is someone you choose who can make decisions about your health care when your doctor determines you can’t make decisions yourself. Your Health Care Agent must be 18 or older. You should pick someone you know well who will follow your wishes, act in your best interest, and who will be available to your health care providers. Anyone can be your Agent except, a health care provider or employee of a provider giving you care, unless you are related to that person by blood, marriage, registered domestic partnership or adoption. You may name one or more Agents or alternates, in this event you should say if the Agents have to decide things together or if they may make decisions independently. This document informs health care personnel on whether you want to be resuscitated, under which circumstances, and how you would like your body handled after your passing, such as burial, cremation, donation of organs, or used for scientific research. It is very important to talk to the person you name as your Agent to be certain that they are willing to make your health care decisions when it may become needed.