The Maryland 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.
The document was prepared by the Office of the Maryland Attorney General in October 2017 and can be downloaded through the link below. The Maryland Advance Directive is regulated by Title 5 (Death) Subtitle 6 (Health Care Decisions Act) of the Maryland Code. The document must be signed by two (2) witnesses. Any competent individual - including medical facility employees, nurses, and physicians - may serve as a witness to the Directive.
There is a difference between this form and a Living Will in Maryland. 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.