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Advanced Care Directives are specific instructions, prepared in advance, that are intended to direct a person's medical care if he or she becomes unable to do so in the future.
Advanced Care Directives allow patients to make their own decisions regarding the care they would prefer to receive if they develop a terminal illness or a life-threatening injury. Advanced Care Directives can also designate someone the patient trusts to make decisions about medical care if the patient becomes unable to make (or communicate) these decisions.
Advanced care directives can reduce:
- Personal worry
- Futile, costly, specialized interventions that a patient may not want
- Overall health care costs
- Feelings of helplessness and guilt for family
- Legal concerns for everyone involved
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