Jennifer Wessel, JD, MPH
Senior Policy Analyst and Data Privacy Officer
This explainer provides information on advance directives, which are legal documents that protect a patient’s right to refuse or request medical treatment in the event the patient becomes terminally ill, mentally incapacitated, or permanently unconscious.
An advance directive also allows for the designation of a healthcare proxy, or surrogate, to make decisions on behalf of the patient when these circumstances arise.
- What are advance directives?
- How are they created?
- What are the laws governing them?
- Who creates them?
- What are the benefits?
- What are some problems or weaknesses with them?