There may come a time or an incident that may place you in a condition where you won't be able to make decisions for your healthcare or personal care. An advance healthcare directive is an authorization given to another to make such decisions if you are in a condition such as this. The advance healthcare directive can stipulate conditions that will allow certain actions to be taken, or not taking, as in the case of a directive to cease lifesaving measures.
One document that works in conjunction with this document is a HIPAA authorization which gives medical staff the authorization to communicate with a person other than yourself regarding your healthcare. If a HIPAA authorization is not in place, medical personnel may refuse to communicate with your designated person.