Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care


Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a written document wherein the principal authorizes the agent to make medical and/or health care decisions on the principal’s behalf should the principal be physically or mentally unable to do so. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care can be drafted to include additional subjects besides the continuance or discontinuance of life-sustaining procedures for terminally ill or injured persons. The principal can address topics such as blood transfusions; organ transplants; long term care and placement; and the use of drugs to name a few.

It is recommended that if an individual is going to take the time draft a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care that the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care contain instructional directives. Instructional directives are guidelines that will asset the designated agent in making the medical and/or health care decisions on the principal’s behalf. The mechanism of instructional directives will allow the principal to state to his agent his or her beliefs and preferences as to certain medical procedures and/or treatments.

At the time of the execution, the person requesting the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to be drafted must be competent. To be declared competent, the individual must be able to understand the consequences of his or her decision. Two witnesses must be present at the execution. Once executed a copy of the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care should be delivered to any treating physician and any hospital that the person may be admitted to the future so that it is guaranteed that the person’s wishes are carried out.

Please make sure that prior to executing your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care that you speak to the individual that you have request to act as your agent to determine if they are willing to serve in such capacity. A future agent should be aware of your thoughts; be trustworthy; have a similar belief system; and be available when needed.

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