An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to plan ahead and make your own end-of life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes at some later time and/or appoint someone to make decisions for you. State law dictates what types of advance directives are recognized in the state. New Hampshire recognizes two types of advanced directives, including:
- Power of Attorney for Health Care which allows you to appoint someone as your Agent to make decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself because of you incapacity at some point in the future. Your Agent will have the authority to consent, refuse to consent, or withdraw consent to medical treatment, and may make decisions about withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment. Your Agent cannot consent to commitment to a state institution, sterilization, or termination of treatment if you are pregnant and if the withdrawal of that treatment is deemed likely to terminate the pregnancy, unless the treatment will be physically harmful to you or prolong severe pain which cannot be alleviated by medication.
- A New Hampshire Declaration which is New Hampshire’s version of a Living Will. In New Hampshire, a living will is very limited in scope, only allowing you to make a statement that you want life-sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn if you are near death or permanently unconscious.