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How does an advance medical directive differ from a living will?

An advance medical directive is any document that allows you to give instructions about future medical treatment preferences in case you become unable to make decisions on your own behalf or can't communicate your wishes, or if a court determines that you are incompetent. A living will is just one type of advance medical directive that allows you to document your wishes about medical treatment.

Another type of advance medical directive is a medical power of attorney that allows you to appoint someone else to make decisions about your medical treatment for you. "Do not resuscitate" or "do not attempt resuscitation" orders (orders signed by a doctor instructing medical treatment providers not to attempt CPR in the event of cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest) are another type of advance medical directives.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.