Arkansas Elder Law &
THE RAYMON B. HARVEY LAW FIRM
Special Needs Trusts
HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows for health care decisions to be made by an agent or proxy chosen in advance. Healthcare Power of Attorney are health-oriented variations of a general form for proxy decisionmaking known as a power of attorney.
Where a living will is only effective when you are incapacitated and either dying or permanently unconscious, a Healthcare Power of Attorney is in effect all the time. You may be ill or seriously injured but not dying. You may simply need someone to advocate for you and see that appropriate decisions are made concerning your health care.
Your health care agent could:
• Access your medical records.
• Employ or discharge your healthcare providers.
• Decide about your acute or long term care needs.
• Consent to psychiatric treatment.
• Authorize relief from pain.
• Direct your medical care.
A durable power of attorney for health care decisionmaking gives the agent the power to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that the principal becomes unable to do so. Such powers of attorney may be very broad; covering all medical decisions, or may be limited to specific medical matters. They also may contain specific instructions to the agent or specific statements of the principal’s preferences.