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Healthcare Power of Attorney

What do you mean by Healthcare Power of Attorney?

The healthcare power of attorney is legal documentation which names one individual as the healthcare agent of another one. This agent is able to take healthcare decisions and he is also responsible for making sure that the physicians and other healthcare professionals provide the required care according to the wishes of the patient. This is going to include end-of-life care.

A Deeper Definition

It is important to plan end-of-life care in advance. This will help to make sure that the patient receives the proper treatment and care according to their preferences and nobody goes against their wishes by compelling them to undergo any treatment which they do not want.

Everything You Need To Know About The Healthcare Power Of Attorney

Using this kind of appointment will take away the burden of grieving family members and friends who would have perhaps gone for some other solution. Further, this will help them to avoid conflict with one another, and incurring high medical bills in an effort to keep you from dying against your will.

Medical power of legal practitioners versus living will

Even though the medical powers and living wills of the legal practitioner happen to be advanced life directives, they differ greatly when it comes to purpose and the execution. A living will is going to specify the end-of-life care instructions for example when somebody likes to be kept alive by means of machinery. According to law, the healthcare personnel must abide by the requests which have been listed within a living will. In case it is mentioned in the document that the patient does not want to go for blood transfusion, the doctors will not be able to provide him with such treatment in the future.

On the contrary, an attorney’s medical power will simply name the individual who is going to make these decisions. Therefore, it is more flexible as compared to the living will and it will offer medical decisions which the patient is not able to predict beforehand.

Even though it might consist of instructions that must have followed by the agent, no one can guarantee the fact that the agent will be doing so. Because of this, some individuals like to create both these documents.

Choosing a representative

It is very important to select any individual for a healthcare power of attorney. This individual must be comfortable when it comes to medical professions and he should not hesitate to ask any required question for understanding the condition of the patient, any complication, plus potential results. The agent must also carry out the wishes of the patient and he should not allow any personal emotions to interfere right here.

Because of this, individuals having the healthcare power of attorney must speak to an agent clearly while conveying their wishes. These wishes might consist of the following:

  • Receiving water and food by means of a tube.
  • Duration of time to continue the treatment when there is no sign of improvement
  • At what time to go for aggressive treatment and when to avoid it
  • Resuscitation and CPR
  • Intimidation regarding medical treatments

It is possible that the answer to all these questions might change over time, and therefore, it will be a sensible idea to talk to the agent personally at regular intervals. Many individuals also go for a backup agent who will step in if the person appointed originally does not like to continue working.


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