Advanced Medical Directives and Powers of Attorney for Health Care
From a health care standpoint, in addition to a Living Will, you may also grant a health care power of attorney to another person.
Usually a Medical Power of Attorney or Advanced Medical Directive would name a close family member as the agent. This health care power of attorney would enable your designated agent to make health care decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them yourself. In a situation involving a terminal and irreversible medical condition, a Living Will is the appropriate legal document to control decisions. A Living Will or the provisions of a Living Will can be incorporated into the health care power of attorney.
Under federal law the Power of Attorney should specifically designate the an agent in compliance with the HIPPA privacy act provisions. This is an important document that can provide peace of mind to Principal (person giving the Power of Attorney) and lessen the stress of dealing with situations that are already difficult on family members. A Louisiana attorney should be consulted in the drafting of an effective Medical Power of Attorney.
For a discussion on financial Powers of Attorney see the prior article on that subject or click on the link provided.