The Advance Healthcare Directive, and not a living will, is now the preferred and legally recognized document for end-of-life decisions by an individual who lives in California.
A living will is a limited type of advance healthcare directive. A Living Will only identifies your decisions about specific life-sustaining procedures you want taken should you be facing imminent death from a terminal medical condition despite receiving life-sustaining procedures or if you are permanently unconscious and in a persistent vegetative state.
Alternatively, an advance healthcare directive includes these similar decisions but also provides a person with other options, including naming a specific person or persons to act as their health care agent. With a California Advance Healthcare Directive, a person can make decisions about the life-sustaining procedures they want should they have a terminal condition, be in a persistent vegetative state and in the last phase of a progressive deadly disease.
The Advance Healthcare Directive allows an individual to do more than the traditional living will document since a living will only allows a person to state their desires and wishes about which types of life-sustaining treatment they want if they are permanently unconscious or terminally ill.
Read more about the California Advance Healthcare Directive here.