Instruction (or treatment) directives state the individual's wishes, while proxy directives name a person to act on the individual's behalf to make health care decisions for the individual in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. The most familiar and well-recognized form of advance directive (a treatment directive), is the living will.
These are both instruction directives, which provide detailed information and anticipate various scenarios, as well as proxy directives, which name an individual who should make medical care decisions. (See Table 7.) State statutes differ substantially in this regard, so it is important to research them.
Other advance directives, usually called "proxy directives
," are intended to designate another person to make health care decisions on the behalf of the document's adult signer should that individual later become nonautonomous or legally incompetent.