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Advance directives are instructions pertaining to treatment preferences and health care given by individuals about what actions should be done or not done, in the event of their incapability to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. It is originally a signed written document, giving or withholding consent in relation to medical or other professional care, treatment or service for the resident, guardian or agent in the event of their incapacity to provide such direction. Advance directives generally take the form of a living will medical power of attorney and health care proxy.
Advance directives are also termed advance health care directives, living wills, or advance decisions.