Thursday, March 24, 2005

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

HospiceBlog writes about the various versions of a power of attorney.

The word "durable" in the title of a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care means that the power won't expire when the assigner of the power becomes incompetent to continue to verify it. If not "durable," the power may expire.

As HospiceBlog notes, this is the PoA that specifically designates who you want to make medical decisions for you if you can't. This, obviously, is very important.

A frustrating situation for me, as an ER doc, is when there is no family member, or other, named as DPoAHC, or when the power is not local and I have local family members in the ER badgering me and I can't get the power on the phone.

Folks, get your DPoAHC named. Make sure the document is where EMS can find it when they come to your house to get you. Put a copy of your Living Will and your DPoAHC in a clear bag on your bedside table or in your medicine cabinet. These are places where EMS will look. If you primarily use one hospital, ask if you can put a copy of these documents on file with that hospital.

If you really want to be careful, put contact info for your DPoAHC in the packet.

Go here for and select your state for info and copies of documents.