Medical Power of Attorney?


A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document in which permission is given to someone you trust to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions on your own.

Appointing a Medical Power of Attorney eases the pressure in families when a loved one is ill. The role of the Medical Power of Attorney is to ensure that your medical care follows your wishes, this includes everything from hydration to end of life care.

Deciding who to choose as your medical power of attorney is a very important decision. The person chosen should be comfortable around hospitals and medical professionals. They must be willing to ask questions and be able to fully understand the situation as well as possible outcomes. When choosing someone it is also important that they have the ability to carry out your wishes and do not allow personal feelings to interfere with any decisions they make. 

Kept Simple

A Medical Power of Attorney is someone you trust to carry out any medical decisions you wouldn’t be able to make if you were incapacitated. The person needs to be someone you trust to make medical decisions based on what wishes you have spoken to them about.

As your wishes may change you may want to speak with your medical power of attorney to update your wishes.

You are also able to choose a backup attorney who can step in if the first appointed attorney cannot take responsibility.

If you do not have a medical power of attorney, then someone you wouldn’t have chosen may make medical decisions for you. Possibly even decisions you wouldn’t approve of.

How Does Apply to you

Your sister is in a car accident and ends up in a coma, completely incapacitate to make any decisions on her own. Long before the accident happened she had appointed you her Medical Power of Attorney. 

As her medical power of attorney, you must make decisions based on what she had spoken to you in the past about and the wishes she would like in the case of anything happening.

You would have to make decisions on all her medical treatment while she is in coma whether to feed her intravenously, whether she is to receive certain kinds of medications etc. It’s also possible that you may have to make the decision to take her off life support if there is no recovery present for a long period of time. Not an easy decision to make but if it were her wishes then you must carry them out.

If your sister didn’t have a medical power of attorney then anyone in the immediate family could make decisions on her care. Old Aunt Penelope who does not know your sister’s wishes may push for a treatment option that you know your sister would hate. You then try to push for a different treatment starting a family fight, making a hard circumstance of your sister’s health into an unbearable situation for all involved.

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