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What You Should Know About Medical Power Of Attorney

August 5, 2012 by: 7

Healthcare decisions are very vital to the wellbeing of every individual. It is therefore important that these decisions be made with utmost care. However, there may come a time when you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself. This is when a Medical Power of Attorney becomes important to you. A Medical Power of Attorney is simply a legal instrument that makes it possible for individuals to choose a person that will make healthcare decisions for them when they are no longer able to decide for themselves.

Types Of Decisions That Will Be Made

The chosen representative is permitted to make different types of decisions that are related to the health of the represented person within stipulated limits. You have the right to determine the type of decisions that will be made on our behalf. This may include decisions to give or withhold consent to health care types such as medical or surgical treatments, nursing care, psychiatric treatment, hospitalization and so on.

Difference Between A Medical Power of Attorney And A Living Will

A Living Will comprises of decisions that you make by yourself. It instructs medical personnel that you don’t want to be put on life support if you are not likely to get getter. On the other hand, a Medical Power of Attorney gives the right to another person to make healthcare decisions for you if and when you are no longer able to make them by yourself. The person that is picked as your representative is usually someone who is trusted by you.

Examples Of Circumstances

There are several medical circumstances that make it valuable to have a Medical Power of Attorney. You may be rendered unconscious after a vehicle accident and be in need of blood transfusion. You may be under anesthesia and the surgeons discover that a more extensive procedure is required. Alzheimer’s disease can also render you mentally incompetent.

A doctor or another qualified medical practitioner will have to determine if you are not able to make healthcare decisions for yourself. The doctor will check to find out if you still have the ability to appreciate the nature as well as the implications of the medical situation. Your ability to process information and make informed decisions regarding the information presented to you will also be tested. You should also be able to communicate the choice that you have made to your doctor in a clear manner. The doctor must clear any doubt that you are still able to make these decisions before the Medical Power of Attorney can come into effect.

Requirements For A Valid Medical Power of Attorney

The following are the basic requirements for a Medical Power of Attorney. You must be an adult or a matured minor. The document must be in writing and must be properly signed and dated. The signing should be done in the presence of two adult witnesses and the signatures acknowledged by a Notary Public. There are also other conditions for witnesses and the person that you can choose as your representative.

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