A durable power of attorney for health care involves you assigning a certain person or persons to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so on your own. Your agent can make many different kinds of health care decisions including deciding who has access to your medical records, which medicines or treatments you do or do not want to receive and whether or not to discharge or admit you from a nursing home or a hospital.
Your agent can only make these decisions if you are unable to do so yourself and your wishes must be followed by the agent if those wishes have been documented. You can document these wishes in writing to ensure that your power of attorney agent knows what to do.
You might want to state whether or not you wish to donate any organs, how you want your body to be disposed of when you pass away, whether or not you want life sustaining treatment, such as being connected to feeding tubes, whether or not you want doctors to use other machines to keep you alive, or to name a person you want to be your legal guardian. You can choose anyone over 18 years of age who is not your physician to be your health care power of attorney. Your agent might be a friend, spiritual advisor or a family member.
One of the most important things to think about when you are naming someone as your health care power of attorney agent is their overall comfort in serving in this role and their ability to do so easily. Your chosen power of attorney agent should feel confident in carrying out your wishes. Make sure that you consult with an experienced Virginia Beach estate attorney if you have never created a power of attorney document before and need assistance with deciding this important next step.