Medical Power of Attorney
Who needs a Medical Power of Attorney?
Everyone is eighteen or over because disability is more likely than death. Chances of being disabled are 7 1/2 times more likely than death for a 22-year-old and 4 1/2 times more likely for a 62-year-old.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
It is a legal document that enables you, the principal, to appoint a person as your agent to make health care decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them yourself. This power only becomes effective when incapacitated, so you remain in complete control until then.
What happens when you become incapacitated and don't have a Medical Power of Attorney?
The court must appoint a special guardian, which is expensive and time-consuming. You could be forced to submit to treatment against your religious beliefs or denied access to the treatment you wanted. It is a lose-lose situation.
Do I need a medical power of attorney for health care if I have a living will?
Yes, because they deal with different situations. The Living Will deals with terminal medical issues, while the Medical Power of Attorney deals with all other medical-related issues. In addition, they are designed to work together to ensure that you have the document that a person in power will honor.