The language of the Advance Directive is specifically provided by statute and requires you to initial specific provisions to make various elections. Your initials in various places throughout the document constitutes an affirmative election to have your relatives and your health care provider continue or halt
certain medical treatments in specified circumstances thereby providing an option to avoid a situation where heroic efforts are undertaken to extend your life when prospects for your recovery are nominal.
Advance Directives can also include the naming of a healthcare proxy, a trusted person whom you authorize to act on your behalf regarding medical decisions when you are unable to communicate them on your own. Your spouse or family members are not automatically allowed to make these decisions for you when needed unless you have specifically authorized them to do so in this legal document.