Do You Need a
Medical Power Of Attorney?
Areas of Practice - Bankruptcy, Business Law, Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Financial Exploitation, Probate Court, Real Estate and Estate Planning.
There is a chance in your lifetime that you may be seriously injured, ill, or otherwise unable to make decisions regarding health care. If this should happen, it would be helpful to have someone who knows your values and in whom you have trust to make such decisions for you.

A Medical Power of Attorney is a document, signed by a competent adult, i.e., "principal," designating a person that the principal trusts to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf should the principal be unable to make such decisions. The individual chosen to act on the principal's behalf is referred to as an "agent."

The principal should be knowledgeable about your wishes, values, and religious beliefs, and in whom you have trust and confidence. In the event your agent does not know of your wishes, that agent should be willing to make health care decisions based upon your best interests.

Although you are not required to designate an alternate agent, you may do so. The alternate agent(s) may make the same health care decisions as the designated agent if the designated agent is unable or unwilling to act.

Anyone may act as an agent other than the following:
The principal's health care provider
An employee of the health care provider unless the person is a relative of the principal
The principal's residential care provider
An employee of the principal's residential care provider unless the person is the principal's relative.
To obtain a medical power of attorney you may contact your local hospital, long term care facility, physician, attorney, or state health organization.
Two witnesses must sign the Medical Power of Attorney. At least one of the witnesses must not be:
Designated by the principal to make a health care decision on the principal's behalf.
Related to the principal by blood or marriage.
The principal's attending physician or an employee of the attending physician.
Entitled to a part of the principal's estate.
A person having a claim against the principal's estate.
An employee of a health care facility in which the principal is a patient if the employee is providing direct care to the principal.
An officer, director, partner, or business office employee of the health care facility or of any parent organization of the health care facility.
What is the difference between a Medical Power of Attorney and a Directive to Physicians? The Directive to Physicians is a document that is limited in scope, addressing only the withholding or withdrawing of medical treatment for those persons having a terminal or irreversible condition.

The Medical Power of Attorney is broader in scope and includes all health care decisions with only a few exceptions. The Medical Power of Attorney does not require that the principal be in a terminal or irreversible condition before the principal's agent can make health care decisions on the principal's behalf.

Un-married couple should both have medical power of attorney on each other. Hospitals and other medical services providers may bar you from seeing your partner and will not permit you to make decisions for your partner unless you do have a medical power of attorney.
Example Medical Power Of Attorney
Additional End Of Life Information
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