Different kinds of powers of attorney handle different situations. A power of attorney is a legal agreement that designates someone as your agent and grants them the authority to act on your behalf. You can appoint someone to take over and make medical decisions on your behalf if you become too unwell or unable to do so on your own.

Power of attorney in healthcare is always durable, unlike standard powers of attorney, which are not. Medical powers of attorney, therefore, take effect only in the event of your incapacitation.

Why you should consider getting a durable power of attorney in healthcare?

It is your right to choose the medical treatments you want and don’t want. A durable power of attorney for healthcare guarantees that your precise wishes for your medical care are carried out if you become unable to communicate your desires to your doctors due to physical or mental impairment. Someone you trust will handle your medical care, even if you do not have explicit wishes about this matter.

Choosing a durable power of attorney in healthcare

It’s crucial to consider who you choose to designate in your medical power of attorney as your representative or attorney-in-fact. This individual need not be an attorney regardless of the term “attorney.” The majority of people name a close friend or relative.

Nonetheless, you should appoint a person you can rely on to make the same healthcare choices you would if you weren’t suffering from a disability. Even if the person working under a power of attorney for medical decisions must obey whatever healthcare directives you’ve given them, you are still trusting them. Choose someone who will honor your wishes in the future.

What are the functions of a durable power of attorney for health care?

Numerous decisions regarding health care are under your agent’s purview, such as:

  • If a hospital or care home should admit you or discharge you
  • Which medical procedures or medications you want or don’t want to have
  • Who can view your health records?

If you cannot make these decisions for yourself, your agent can only do so per your instructions.

How will your agent be aware of your preferences?

You have to put that in writing. Agreeing to a durable power of attorney for health care entitles you to:

  • Indicate whether or not you want your physicians to keep you alive with equipment
  • Declare if you wish to receive food and water through feeding tubes or not
  • Inform your agent of your wishes for the final disposition of your body
  • Indicate if you would like to donate any organs when you die
  • Name the person you wish to serve as your legal guardian if required.

The sum up

When you sign a durable power of attorney for health care, you designate a person or people (referred to as your agent(s)) to make wise decisions concerning your health care if you cannot do so for yourself.

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