An advanced directive, sometimes referred to as a living will or a do-not-resuscitate order, is a document that advises what medical procedures you consent to or decline in advance.
If you have clear views on certain medical procedures, such as refusal of blood transplants or dialysis, or not be sustained by artificial feeding or hydrating, you can sign an advance directive that advises doctors of your wishes and denies your consent to these treatments in advance.
This can work along with a Representation Agreement or as an alternative to one. With a Representation Agreement, typically you would advise your personal representative of your healthcare decisions and they would then advise the doctor of your views. An Advance Directive allows doctors to bypass your family and friends and rely solely on your document. This is useful if your personal representative is unavailable or does not share your views or beliefs on end-of-life decisions. It’s also a useful document to provide to your hospital ahead of a major surgery.