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Medical Power of Attorney (also known as a Healthcare Directive) enables the appointed agent to take medical decisions on behalf of the Grantor. Oftentimes, when an individual has suffered personal injuries or some sickness we face a need of hospitalization. In this case, a Healthcare Directive will be required to provide the injured person with medical care.

Most of the time, a patient who is in an irreversible coma or vegetated state need to get the medical aid as soon as possible. Another saying, the issue becomes more important when the patient is incapable to take a decision himself or herself and the agent should put him into the shoes of the Grantor and give authority to provide the patient with the necessary medical treatment.

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care gives you an opportunity to dictate who has the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. You will also be able to give that person direction what kind of decisions he or she may make.

In order to appoint a person to take medical decisions on your behalf, you should complete the following steps:

1. Name an agent

It is crucial to choose a person whom you trust and who is able to uphold your wishes. Your agent will be able to speak for you and make decisions on your health care if you are not capable to do it. At The Margarian Law Firm, we recommend our clients to name two (2) alternate agents in case one of the them is unable or does not want to make decisions on your behalf in certain situations.

2. Getting HIPAA Authorization

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as HIPAA) is a federal law which aims at maintaining patient confidentiality. Nonetheless, under HIPAA your agent will be authorized to have access to the confidential health information. Thus, it would give an opportunity to make decisions about how you should be cared and treated. If the Grantor gives a second authorization to the entrusted person, he or she may release your confidential medical information to third parties, such as insurance companies or your relatives.

3. Provisions on end-of-life care

Pursuant to these provisions you are able to specify your wishes concerning end-of-life care. For example, you may mention when the agent is authorized to:
  • withhold or withdraw your medical treatment,
  • keep your body alive if you are in an irreversible coma,
  • prolong your life by artificial means,

4. Organ Donation Power

You may enable your agent with the power to make anatomical donation of all or a part of your body to people in need or for certain scientific researches. Otherwise, you may even specify that you are against such decisions of your agent.

5. Burial Wishes

You have the right to indicate your wishes concerning funeral ceremony or cremation in the durable power of attorney for health care, including where you want it to take place and what kind of music should be played. Finally, it has to be known that you can change or revoke your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care at any time you have required mental capacity to do it.

One of the most important decisions in your life is to appoint an agent for taking medical care decisions on your behalf. The Margarian Law Firm attorneys will assist you with planning of the future of you and your assets by applying a grand variety of estate planning tools. Do not delay to contact us to start preparing the security of your family today.

In addition, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning California Estate Planning Law for FREE.
You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail.

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