1. Appointment of Health Care Agent/Health Care Proxy

NOTE: This page shows Part 1 of a typical Advance Directive. See Part 2 (Living Will) and Part 3 (After Death Wishes).

The first section of your Advance Directive asks you to name a Health Care Agent or Health Care Proxy. This person is the one who you designate to make decisions about your medical care–including decisions about life support–if you can no longer speak for yourself. In this section you can also decide when you want a Health Care Proxy to start making decisions, for example, either at the time of signing your Advance Directive or at the point when your doctor determines that you are unable to make your own medical decisions, say if you or unconscious or in a coma. In addition, you will want to decide if your Agent is to be strictly bound by whatever treatment decisions you put in your Advance Directive, or if you want to grant them the ability to make their own decisions in certain circumstances.