A durable power of attorney for health care may also be known as a medical power of attorney, a health care proxy, or a medical proxy, depending on where you reside. It is also vital to realize that a medical power of attorney is not the same as a durable power of attorney for financial affairs.
A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that you prepare to authorize your agent to make health care decisions on your behalf. A durable power of attorney delegates authority to an agent to make decisions on your behalf. These medical judgments are made as if she or he were you. These choices include the power to withdraw you off life support.
Even if you have a living will, you still need a medical power of attorney. A living will merely specifies the sorts of drugs you like, but it does not authorize anybody to make choices on your behalf.
This implies that if you are unconscious or otherwise disabled, only the doctor has the legal authority to decide how you should be treated. As a result, if you do not provide someone this authority, it may be impossible for your loved ones to take you off life support, regardless of the circumstances.
While this is still a developing legislation in the United States, most physicians would strive to fulfill your desires provided you have presented the paperwork in a clear and compelling manner.
Many times, physicians have failed to fulfill a patient’s known intentions because they were unaware of the presence of the document. Once you’ve written them down, make sure they’re a permanent part of your medical records.