Setting up an advanced care directive, which is a document containing oral and written instruction about future medical care, allows you to ensure your needs and wants are followed in the case of a disease or a serious injury. You can create a directive once you are 16 years and older and can adjust it at any time.
Advanced care directives give a chosen, competent individual the authority to act on your behalf if you were to become incompetent and not able to make decisions about your health care. A directive will also give this person directions about your wishes; for example, it will provide guidance for decisions about the continuation of life, the use of support machines and when to resuscitate. Talk to your family health care provider about setting up your advance care directive.