What is the difference between Advance Directives and a Living Will?
Advance Directives are documents providing instructions about healthcare wishes that an individual puts into writing ahead of time, in case he or she becomes unconscious or otherwise unable to provide such information. The components of Advance Directives include instructions about specific types of treatment the individual does or does not want. Advance Directives may include appointing a Durable Power of Attorney or "healthcare agent." It may even include a list of personal values of the individual or wish to be an organ and tissue donor. The Advance Directive forms included on this web site may apply to any healthcare situation, not just those involving terminal illness and/or injuries. A Living Will on the other hand, is a type of advance directive and only applies in cases of terminal illness and/or injury and is utilized as a document in which the signer requests to be allowed to die, rather than be kept alive by artificial means.