What are advance directives?

Advance directives are instruments that translate your wishes into documents that allow you to describe what kind of medical care you hope to receive if an accident or illness renders you unable to communicate.

Some people worry that filling out these documents means giving up control over their medical treatment. In reality, advance directives helps you gain a measure of control over your health care. Advance directives enable you to choose the person who will make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so – and someone will surely do this, whether or not you make a choice. Using directives, you may offer as much or as little guidance as you like.