An advance directive or medical power of attorney provides a person with the legal authority to manage another person’s health care matters. A standard power of attorney includes the name of the person, possible back-ups, and end-of-life decisions that can be made if there is no hope of healing or recovery.
This is an important document to have drawn up and filed at area hospitals and with your primary doctor. Here are examples of when a medical POA has helped ensure a patient’s wishes are met or can help with decision-making.
Four Examples Where a Medical POA Can Help
A Florida man with congestive heart failure stated he did not want to be kept alive with machines. When he was hospitalized and artificial measures were being used to keep him alive, his doctors wanted to follow his living will and shut off the machines. His wife held the medical POA and fought the decision as she and their children still found he was able to respond to them and therefore not at the end of his life.
After having a stroke, a Vermont man was unable to tell doctors what he wanted for care. His advance directive stated he did not wish to be kept alive through artificial means. When the MRI results showed a large glioblastoma pressing on his brain stem, it was determined that there was no chance for survival. His daughter was able to state his wishes regarding end-of-life care and ensure the doctors followed those wishes.
The COVID-19 vaccination will soon roll out. A durable power of attorney for health care decisions is important for elderly men and women who live in a nursing home. If they lack the cognitive skills to decide if the vaccine is right for them, they need to have a POA make the decision for them. Otherwise, it will be up to the nursing home officials to decide.
Make Sure the POA is Legal
To be legal in Alabama, a medical power of attorney must be signed by two witnesses who meet the state’s requirements on competence. A medical POA is not a form you want to be invalidated due to a simple mistake. This is why it’s always best to talk to an elder law attorney and have the legal paperwork drawn up and witnessed in a legal manner.
If anything happens to your parents, you want assurance that their POA will follow their wishes. Skip the DIY route and hire an elder law attorney to create a legally binding power of attorney.
If you or a loved need assistance with a Power of Attorney in Hoover, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101