NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,452 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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advance directive
(ad-VANS duh-REK-tiv)
A legal document that states a person’s wishes about receiving medical care if that person is no longer able to make medical decisions because of a serious illness or injury. An advance directive may also give a person (such as a spouse, relative, or friend) the authority to make medical decisions for another person when that person can no longer make decisions. There are different types of advance directives, including a living will, durable power of attorney (DPA) for healthcare, and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders. In the United States, the laws for advance directives may be different for each state, and each state may allow only certain types of advance directives.