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What is the purpose of an advance care directive?

Anne Fabiny
Geriatric Medicine
Most people value their ability and freedom to make choices, especially about the kind of medical treatment they receive. But what if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions or let your wishes be known? Advance care directives can help ensure that your voice is heard in these circumstances. They allow you to specify your wishes for health care and life-sustaining measures and to name a person who will make health care decisions for you in the event that you can't do so yourself. If you are a caregiver, it's a good idea to have the person you're caring for consider drafting an advance care directive, and you may want to do so for yourself as well.

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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.