As people get older it is important to make plans for when they may become incapacitated and need someone to make health care decisions for them. There are two different kinds of documents that could be in place to plan for when your health makes you unable to make decisions.
A living will spells out what you want to happen if you are unable to talk to your doctors. It states your desire to be taken off life support if needed as well as other kinds of treatment you are willing to go through.
Another kind of document used in planning for the future is a health care proxie. This states a specific person that you want to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do it yourself. In this case the designated person makes the decisions about any kind of treatment recommended and whether or not you should be taken off life support if the situation arises.
When you have a health care proxie in place it is important to discuss your wishes with the person you are allowing to make decisions for you. Putting your wishes in writing is called a medical directive and is included in the health care proxy. You should also make sure that the person you decide on is someone that you trust to make the right decisions for you. Your life is basically in their hands, and they need to be able to handle making what could be a very difficult decision.