A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.
Your representative will be required to follow your wishes as expressed in the power of attorney. You can give your representative broad authority to make all medical decisions on your behalf, or you can specify specific medical issues that he or she will be able to make decisions on.
You can also express any wishes you have in the power of attorney, which your representative will be required to follow.
Your representative can be anyone over the age of 18. He or she does not have to be a relative. Your doctor cannot be your representative
. You must discuss the power of attorney with the person you wish to appoint as your representative. He or she must agree to this voluntarily. You cannot force someone to be your representative.
Keep in mind that as long as you are able to make your own decisions, you will do so. Your representative will only make decisions for you if you lose the ability to do so yourself completely.
You can cancel the power of attorney at any time by informing your medical institution, preferably in writing.
Only one representative can be appointed in a medical power of attorney. This will avoid disagreements between family and friends about who should make decisions on your behalf.
It is important to discuss with your representative in advance how you would like him or her to act in certain situations. However, you should also spell this out in the power of attorney. Try to anticipate as many possible scenarios as you can. Keep in mind, though, that it is impossible to foresee everything, so it is likely that your representative will have to make decisions on his or her own in unforeseen situations. Your representative will not be held liable for any decisions made on your behalf if those decisions were made in good faith.