A Kentucky Advance Directive for Health Care is a set of instructions about preferred medical care that takes effect when a patient becomes unable to make decisions. In addition to listing preferences for medical care, the form provides individuals with the option of appointing a health care proxy. A health care proxy - otherwise known as a health care agent or surrogate - is a person who has the authority to make health-related decisions on another person's behalf.
If an individual has never had an Advance Directive made, any health care decisions may be made for them by a court-appointed guardian (a spouse, an adult child, an adult sibling, an adult relative or a professional).
There is a difference between this form and a Living Will in Kentucky. A Living Will is a specific type of an Advance Directive for Health Care that becomes effective only in the event of a terminal illness. A Kentucky Advance Directive is defined by § 394.010 and regulated by the KRS Chapter 394. The document must be signed in the presence of two (2) witnesses over the age of eighteen (18) or a Notary Public.