What is the Role of Medical Power of Attorney?
Due to the new discoveries and advances in the medical field, life expectancy has increased in the last few decades. As a result, people are living longer lives than before. With the increase in a person’s age, many health challenges appear. There may be situations when decisions on how you wish to be treated for a disease need to be taken. Such problems are most likely to arise at the end of our lives.
In the case of severe disorder or accidents, the person may not be able to express their preferences about the medical treatment. Then, such critical decisions need to be made by others for your medical treatment. This is where Advance health care directives, aka healthcare proxies, come into the picture. A healthcare proxy allows you to deal with these situations beforehand. In this article, we will explain the benefits and processes to get Health Care Power of Attorney
What is a Health Care Proxy?
Health care proxy is known by various names differing from state to state. It is called health care surrogate and medical power of attorney. It is basically a durable POA that is curated specially to give powers to someone related to the medical treatment of the principal. Here, the principal grants the Authority to make medical decisions if he (Principal) cannot express his preferred choice about medical treatment. The inability to express can arise due to unconsciousness or unfit mental state.
On the basis of your residence, the health care proxy is of 2 types
Besides these two forms, you can also take legal assistance to get a healthcare proxy drafted according to your needs.
Features of an Online Health Care Proxy
- Depending on the state, the laws concerning the healthcare proxy differ.
- All the states allow you to express your preferences about medical treatment in the case of terminal illness or accidental injuries.
- A healthcare proxy is known by various names in different states such as living wills, medical directives, health care proxies, and advance health care directives.
- All the fifty states provide a statutory form. They also permit you to draft your document suitable to your choices. This specifically designed draft is possible with the legal assistance of a lawyer.
- You have the option to appoint one or more persons (successors) to make decisions on your behalf in emergencies. If the first-choice proxy can’t take the decision, then the alternate proxy can do the job.
- For the living will, initially, the medical doctors will decide whether you have the are capable to make your medical decisions.
- Free Medical power of attorney are also available. Although, it might have several uniquely designed terms & conditions to abide.
How do I Make a medical power of attorney?
First of all, go to State Advance Health Care Directive Forms tool. Now, printout state’s medical power of attorney form. Following steps are needed to make a free health care proxy:
- Designation of Agent will include name of Agent that will represent your medical treatment preferences to doctors.
- Add the complete and correct mailing address of your Health Care broker where your Agent can be located as he will receive formal documents related to your health care.
- A reliable contact number of your health care broker.
- If you want to add alternate health care insurer, then you should provide the exact same information, i.e., name, address, and contact details for those alternate agents. You can appoint as many alternate healthcare agents as you want.
Nevertheless, keep the following in mind while aiming for a medical power of attorney:
- Agent’s Authority will include principal provisions and other instructions. While appointing a Health Care broker, the principal should decide whether the Agent’s use of Principal Authority should be confined. The Agent’s principal authority use can be limited simply by stating the limitations or by specific instructions directed at your Agent and doctors that will supersede your Agent’s Authority.
- Declare the date from which the health care agent is authorized to act as the Individual’s medical choices in the document. The principal authority powers shall innately get into effect when the principal is unable to communicate with medical professionals regarding the treatment. However, the Principal has the option to declare that the health care broker is permitted to represent the principal’s directives immediately after the validating of this document.
- Now you should fill in the Agent’s post-death authority details, including directives about what needs to be done with the after-death remains. It also includes directions on funerals, organ donation, burial, and autopsy, etc.
- Now, the Principal needs to provide the choice on artificially prolonged life. You can choose between prolonging the life or keeping the principal pain-free. This also includes the Individual’s stand for the processes and medication to control the principal’s pain levels. The principal can also place restrictions on pain relieve practices.
- Apart from all these crucial details, additional directives can be added, including specific treatment preferences.
- Now, add the identity and other details of the principal’s primary physician. By placing the details of primary physician for future use by Medical Staff, the staff can easily trace the principal’s medical history. So, add the name, address details, and contact details of the primary physician should be added. Also, add the hospital’s address where the principal’s primary physician works.
- Similarly, add the details of a secondary physician.
- Now, the Principal must sign the document to verify along with the information of current date. The signing is done in the presence of witnesses or a public notary. Principal’s printed name and legal address should also be presented.
- Now, details such s the name, address, and signature of two witnesses take place. Witness testimony is also needed to state that he is not entitled to the Principal’s estate after his death.
- Patient’s Ombudsman (statement) is needed when the principal is residing in an improved health care provision. In such a situation, the Patient Ombudsman needs to submit their witness testimony to ensure Principal’s signature is genuine. Ombudsman testimony requires to be acknowledged by his signature along with his address proof and name.
Powers and Duties of a Health Care Proxy
- Decisions about medical treatment, medical care, medical tests, medicine, and surgery
- The right to ask or reject life-support treatments
- Pain management
- Permission or declination of medication or medical procedures
- Decision on admission to an assisted healthcare living facility, hospital, or nursing home
- Where to receive medical treatment, right to move the principal to another hospital, or state.
- The right to approve medical records
- Take legal steps and advocate for your health care rights.