Healthcare Power of Attorney
Healthcare Power of Attorney created by Magellan Law
A specified Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) allows someone to make medical decisions for you if you were unable to make those decisions yourself. This particular Power of Attorney gives instructions concerning medical evaluations and treatment, long-term or hospice care, maintaining you in your residence to the extent feasible, authority to employ and discharge health care personnel, the power to authorize pain relief, authority to release information, and various end of life decision-making authorities. A Healthcare POA is very important in case you get into an accident and you are unconscious.
Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney
The supporting Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney avoids the need for a guardianship with mental health powers if you, or family member, develop dementia, severe depression, or some other psychiatric condition that requires treatment in a locked facility and/or the use of psychotropic medications. If you or someone in your family that relies upon you, develops dementia and does not have a Mental Healthcare POA, you could end up in a locked psychiatric facility with no one able to sign for your release. And even worse – complete strangers could end up deciding what happens to you.
DNR – Do Not Resuscitate
A Do Not Resuscitate document (DNR), is a legally binding order written by a doctor, hospital or attorney. It must be written and signed while you (the patient) are conscious and able to act on your own will. A DNR order instructs medical responders to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and intubation if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. You may have heard of the term “Code Blue” – this means that the patient does NOT have a DNR on record and medical staff are required by law to begin immediate resuscitative efforts. If you have made the choice to die without the help of medical interruption, you will need a signed DNR Order in place.
Many medical providers prefer to use the term Allow Natural Death (“AND”) because they feel DNR has garnered a bad connotation since it sounds like they are withholding something necessary even though it is the patient’s wishes to pass on under what they consider more peaceful.
It is very, very important to discuss your medical wishes with your loved ones before a tragedy happens. If you don’t discuss your medical wishes and don’t have the proper documents in order before something medically important happens to you, then your family will have very difficult decisions to make without knowing what you would have wanted. Families end up feeling guilty and blaming each other for making tough medical decisions, but all of this can be avoided with the proper communication and documentation.
At Magellan Law we can assist you with all of your Powers of Attorney and medical intention documentation. Contact us at your convenience for a personal and confidential consultation if you are interested in stating your wishes so your family can be confident in their decisions when the time is right.