Making decisions about your future medical care

Getting a living will, health care proxy, or other advance directive now will give you more power over your treatment later.

Published: March, 2016

Talking to you loved ones about your wishes for future medical care is key to ensuring you choices are respected.
Image: Thinkstock

You've probably heard of a living will, a legal document that allows you to specify the kind of medical care you'd like at the end of life. But who'll make sure those wishes are carried out? And what if you need someone to make your health care decisions long before life's end?

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »