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What is an advance directive?

Anyone can wind up hurt or sick and unable to make decisions about what kind of medical treatments they do or do not want. 

An advance directive is a useful, legal way to say what quality of life you want to have, especially in a medical emergency or if you get very sick. 

Fast Facts 

Advance directives:
  • Are easy to create 
  • Do not require a notary or lawyer
  • Are available in paper​ and electronic​ formats  
  • Are intended for all adults, whether sick or healthy

What do they include?

Advance directives can include as much or as little as you wish; however, most will include: 
  • The name a trusted ​person who has permission to speak for you (health care agent)
  • Instructions about your medical care (living will)

​Why do I need one?

  • ​Advance directives can provide peace of mind and ensure future medical treatments follow religous beliefs, wishes, and goals.​

Am I required to have one?

  • No. You can also cancel or change your advance directive at any time.​​

Do I have to use a specific form?

  • Maryland residents do not have to use a specific advance directive form. Online (electronic) as well as paper​ forms are acceptable. You can even handwrite your advance directive.