Power of Attorney
A medical or health care power of attorney is a type of advance directive in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. In some states this directive may also be called a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care proxy.
Choosing a person to act as your health care agent is important. Even if you have other legal documents regarding your care, not all situations can be anticipated, and some situations will require someone to make a judgment about your likely care wishes. You should choose a person who meets the following criteria:
- Meets your state’s requirements for a health care agent
- Is not your doctor or a part of your medical care team
- Is willing and able to discuss medical care and end-of-life issues with you
- Can be trusted to make decisions that adhere to your wishes and values
- Can be trusted to be your advocate if there are disagreements about your care
The person you name may be a spouse, other family member, friend or member of a faith community. You may also choose one or more alternates in case the person you chose is unable to fulfill the role.
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