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What is the difference between a Medical Power of Attorney and an Advance Directive?

An Advance Directive is strictly limited in scope to:

  • Instructions about continuing or withholding life-sustaining treatment if you have a terminal condition (expected to die within six months), or
  • Instructions about continuing or withholding life-sustaining treatment if you have an irreversible condition, you cannot care for or make decisions for yourself, and you are expected to die without life-sustaining treatment.

Note: The Medical Power of Attorney, however, is not limited to life-sustaining treatment. If your agent’s decision conflicts with your Advance Directive, the Advance Directive controls. If no Advance Directive exists, the agent’s decision controls.