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On December 24, 2012, Posted by , In Home Care, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Franklin, MI Home Care Services

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

The durable power of attorney for healthcare is one of two components of what are known as Health Care or Advanced Directives. The other is the living will. Together, these two Advanced Directives documents allow your parent to express their wishes concerning medical treatment, particularly at the end of life.

The healthcare power of attorney is a legal document by which someone grants authority to make decisions regarding medical care in the event he or she is unable to do so, due to unconsciousness or lack of mental capacity. This agent is also called attorney-in-fact for health care, health proxy or health surrogate. It is prudent to designate a primary health care agent, but also to designate a second and third person to make decisions in the event that the first person is not available. Physicians and medical professionals typically make the assessment as to whether a person is capable of making their own decisions and if decisions should be made by the health care proxy according to the wishes outlined in the patient’s Advanced Directives.

It is important that your parent carefully choose the health care proxy and that he or she is made aware of your parent’s wishes regarding his or her medical treatment in a variety of situations, particularly in situations such as terminal illness, deep coma and or persistent vegetative state. Ideally, an individual’s specific preferences are detailed in a companion health care planning document, the living will.

The Living Will 

A living will is a document that expresses your parent’s wishes for medical treatment in specific circumstances. A living will is part of the advanced directive along with the durable power of attorney. This document will allow your parents to express whether they want to receive life-sustaining treatments in the event of a terminal illness or accident in which they are injured or otherwise become incapacitated. A living will deals only with medical matters.

Some of the issues your parent should have considered are what treatments that they will decide to have. Medicine and health care have progressed to the point where a person can be kept alive for a long period of time but may not have any quality of life. It is up to the individual to decide what quality of life means to them personally.

While a living will may result is certain treatment which would prolong life, but not cure one’s condition, it would not prevent a medical professional from providing pain medications or providing other palliative treatments which would relieve pain or make one more comfortable.

For family caregivers, having your loved one expressed his or her wishes in a legal document can decrease the chance of confusion, stress and potential discord should your parent become incapacitated.  It’s best to have your parent’s wishes in writing and documented with your health care provider and the rest of your family.



Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Franklin or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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