Advanced Medical Directive: written instructions, such as a living will or durable power of attorney, given by patients about the kind of health care they want to receive if they become unable to make their own treatment decisions.
Agent: the person who is named under a medical durable power of attorney to make your health care decisions.
Attorney in Fact: the agent who is named in a power of attorney.
CPR: Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is an attempt to revive someone whose heart and/or breathing has stopped by using special drugs and/or machines or very firm pressing on the chest.
CPR Directive: allows you, your agent, or proxy to refuse resuscitation. If you have a CPR Directive, doctors, paramedics, or emergency personnel will not try procedures to get your heart and/or lungs working again. They are usually signed by patients with terminal illnesses or by very frail patients who may become paralyzed, forever unconscious, or unable to speak or understand if resuscitation is performed.
Declarant: the person who writes a living will.
Guardian: a person appointed by the court to care for another’s person or property because of the other person=s incapacity or disability.
Durable Power of Attorney: a legal document granting someone authority to act as agent or attorney-in-fact for the grantor. A durable power of attorney remains in effect during the grantor’s incompetency.
Life sustaining procedures: any medical procedure or intervention that would only prolong the dying process.
Living Will: a document known legally as a Declaration as to Medical or Surgical Treatment, in which a patient directs in advance whether life sustaining procedures should be continued or withdrawn. It applies only in situation in which two doctors agree that the patient is terminally ill or has a non-curable condition.
Medical Durable Power of Attorney: a document which allows a patient to decide in advance whom she or he wants to make medical decisions if the patient is unable to communicate with medical personnel. It applies to all situations not covered by the specific instance covered by the living will.
Proxy: a substitute medical decision-maker chosen by a group of the patient’s closest relations.
Terminal Condition: an incurable or irreversible condition with no possibility of recovery, as agreed upon by two doctors in writing.
Ward: a person who is under a guardian’s charge or protection.