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Advance Directives

Having a living will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatments at the end of life.

Before your living will can guide medical decision-making, 2 physicians must certify:

  • You are unable to make medical decisions
  • You are in the medical condition specified in the state's living will law, such as terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness

A medical power of attorney or healthcare proxy allows you to appoint a person you trust as your healthcare agent to make decisions on your behalf.

Before a medical power of attorney goes into effect, a person’s physician must conclude that they are unable to make their own medical decisions. If a person regains the ability to make decisions, the agent cannot continue to act on the person's behalf.

Many states have additional requirements that apply only to decisions about life-sustaining medical treatments. Before your agent can refuse a life-sustaining treatment on your behalf, a second physician may have to confirm your doctor's assessment that you are incapable of making treatment decisions.

For more information on Advance Directives, contact a member of our Life Choices Team at Houston Healthcare - Warner Robins, (478) 975-5346 or Houston Healthcare - Perry, (478) 218-1626.