Medical Power of Attorney – Business Lawyer Service

Article by Joanne Cassidy

The medical power of attorney is a very important part of your overall personal and business planning.  It allows you to designate another person to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

Medical Power of Attorney Form

The Texas legislature has anticipated such things happening and has provided a form to be used for appointing an agent to make those medical decisions for you.  It’s called a medical power of attorney, a printable copy of which is attached to this article.  Although you can complete the form yourself, it is preferable to have it prepared by your business lawyer to ensure it is properly completed and executed.

Appointing an Agent with Medical Power of Attorney

With a medical power of attorney, if you become ill and cannot communicate with your doctor, the person you designate, who is known as your agent, can make decisions for you and authorize, or direct the withholding of, certain treatments.

The agent may exercise the authority only if your doctor certifies in writing and files that certification in your medical record that, based on his reasonable medical opinion, you are not capable of making medical decisions for yourself. If you object, even while a medical power of attorney is in place, or while you are not competent, your objection will override the decisions of your agent. You remain in control until you choose otherwise.

In addition, before the doctor undertakes any treatment based on the decision of the agent, he is obligated to inform you of the treatment or withdrawal of treatment before taking any action.

The agent is obligated to confer with your doctor and make decisions based on what he knows about your wishes and moral or religious beliefs.  If he does not know your wishes, he must make his decisions based on his opinion of what is in your best interests.  In any event the agent may not consent to:

  1. Voluntary inpatient mental health services
  2. Convulsive treatment
  3. Psychosurgery
  4. Abortion or
  5. The omission of care primarily intended to make you comfortable.

The power of attorney becomes effective as soon as it is signed in front of two witnesses or in front of a notary and given to the agent.  It stays in effect until you revoke it or you become competent to make your own decisions.

Revoking Medical Power of Attorney

You make revoke a medical power of attorney by (1) written or verbal notification of its revocation to the agent by you or a healthcare provider or by any act that tends to signify that you intend to revoke it (2) execution of another power of attorney or (3) divorce of your spouse if that spouse had been designated as your agent.    If your healthcare provider becomes aware of your revocation, he must immediately notify the agent and anyone who provides health or residential care for you and he must also record the revocation in your medical records.

Control Over Healthcare Decisions

The medical power of attorney for health care is important because it gives you some control over who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to.  You get to choose that person.  Maybe you have a sibling who is a medical professional and you trust that person to make better decisions than your spouse.  Or maybe your spouse has different religious views than you do.  Or maybe you don’t want to burden your closest relative with the obligation to make certain decisions.

Business Attorney to Prepare Advanced Planning Documents

Take control.  Make an appointment with your business attorney to prepare your advanced planning documents today.  You need a will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, and a directive to physician.  It doesn’t take long and it isn’t expensive.  It is a gift to your family and just one more thing to feel good about.

Download

Medical Power of Attorney Printable Form