If you or a loved one are facing a terminal illness, power of attorney is a phrase you’ve likely heard thrown around. Knowing how to set something like this up can be a little overwhelming, especially when all the other difficulties that come with a terminal illness. In this article, we’ll go over what healthcare power of attorney is, how it differs from other similar legal documents, and how to prepare a healthcare power of attorney.
What is a durable healthcare power of attorney?
A healthcare power of attorney is a specific legal document authorizing a specific person (referred to as an agent) to make decisions for you relating to your personal care, medical treatment, hospitalization, and healthcare. This is someone you choose, and because they could potentially be making decisions on your behalf, it’s important to make sure this person understands your values and wishes around healthcare. It is referred to as “durable” because it is generally only applicable in cases where you are unable to make decisions yourself. While it can be used in end of life situations, it can also be used for lesser, non-life threatening situations where a medical care decision is needed. This type of power of attorney is not related to financial matters.
How is healthcare power of attorney different from other legal documents?
A durable healthcare power of attorney differs from other legal documents like an advance directive, living will, and DNR order in that it gives authority over your medical decisions to an appointed person, rather than laying out specific wishes related to healthcare treatment for your care team and/or loved ones to follow. While it can be used on its own, it can also be used with these other types of legal documents.
Do I need a lawyer to create healthcare power of attorney?
In the state of Georgia, there ae standard forms for living wills and healthcare powers of attorney, so you don’t need a lawyer to create them. Most hospitals and healthcare providers can provide you with educational materials and the standard forms available. However, some of the language can be very confusing and technical, and a lawyer can always help with explaining the terms and various requirements.
Hospice Care Options provides in home hospice services for people in need of end of life care as well as care and support for their families. Our hospice philosophy is to assist patients and their families bridge the gap with providers, and help our patients manage pain and navigate conversations with family. In addition to providing quality medical care, we also assist patients and their families with emotional support and spiritual guidance if requested. Hospice Care Options has locations in Eastman, Macon, Milledgeville, Ocilla, and Warner Robins and serves surrounding counties as well.
Primary Source: Gabar.org