The purpose of this power of attorney is to authorize your agent to make any and all decisions concerning your personal care, medical treatment, hospitalization and health care and to require, withhold or withdraw any type of medical treatment or procedure, have access to medical records, make anatomical gifts, have full power to authorize an autopsy and direct the disposition of your remains.
In addition to authorizing an agent to act on your behalf, the power of attorney for health care may also provide a “living will” also known as an “advanced directive.” This section should provide for specific instructions regarding the course of treatment that is to be followed by health care providers and caregivers. In some cases, a living will may forbid the use of various kinds of burdensome medical treatment. It may also be used to express wishes about the use or foregoing of food and water if supplied via tubes or other medical devices. The living will is used only if the individual has become unable to give informed consent or refusal due to incapacity. A living will can be very specific or very general. An example of a statement sometimes found in a living will is: “If I suffer an incurable, irreversible illness, disease or condition and my attending physician determines that my condition is terminal, I direct that life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong my death be withheld or discontinued.”
Having a power of attorney for health care does not revoke your right to participate in your medical care. A durable health care power of attorney only becomes effective when you no longer have the capacity to give, withdraw or withhold informed consent regarding your care.