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Medical Power of Attorney - Information, Form, and More

Authored By: The Department of Aging and Disability Services
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Information Information from the Texas Medical Association Information from the Office of the Texas Attorney General Medical Power of Attorney Form and Information

Information

 

Content below excerpted from the Texas Medical Association Webpage:

 

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?


It is a document, signed by a competent adult, i.e., "principal," designating a person that the principal trusts to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf should the principal be unable to make such decisions. The individual chosen to act on the principal's behalf is referred to as an "agent."

 

When does the Medical Power of Attorney go into effect and how long is it effective?


It is effective immediately after it is executed and delivered to the agent. It is effective indefinitely unless it contains a specific termination date, it is revoked, or the principal becomes competent.

When does the agent have the right to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf?


An agent may make health care decisions on the principal's behalf only if the principal's attending physician certifies in writing that the principal is incompetent. The physician must file the certification in the principal's medical record.

 

Can the agent make a health care decision if the principal objects?


No. Treatment may not be given to or withheld from the principal if the principal objects. This is true whether or not the principal is incompetent.

 

What health care decision making power does the Medical Power of Attorney grant to an agent?


Under a Medical Power of Attorney, an agent is given wide latitude when consenting to treatment on the principal's behalf. However, an agent cannot consent to:

  • Commitment to a mental institution,
  • Convulsive treatment,
  • Psychosurgery,
  • Abortion, and
  • Neglect of comfort care.

And in the Medical Power of Attorney document itself, the principal may limit the agent's decision-making authority.

How is the Medical Power of Attorney revoked?

A Medical Power of Attorney may be revoked by notifying either the agent or the principal's health care provider orally or in writing, of the principal's intent to revoke. This revocation will occur regardless of the principal's capacity to make health care decisions. Further, if the principal executes a later Medical Power of Attorney, then all prior ones are revoked. If the principal designates his/her spouse to be the agent, then a later divorce revokes the Medical Power of Attorney.

 

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What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
It is a document, signed by a competent adult, i.e., "principal," designating a person that the principal trusts to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf should the principal be unable to make such decisions. The individual chosen to act on the principal's behalf is referred to as an "agent."

When does the Medical Power of Attorney go into effect and how long is it effective?
It is effective immediately after it is executed and delivered to the agent. It is effective indefinitely unless it contains a specific termination date, it is revoked, or the principal becomes competent.

When does the agent have the right to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf?
An agent may make health care decisions on the principal's behalf only if the principal's attending physician certifies in writing that the principal is incompetent. The physician must file the certification in the principal's medical record.

Can the agent make a health care decision if the principal objects?
No. Treatment may not be given to or withheld from the principal if the principal objects. This is true whether or not the principal is incompetent.

What health care decision making power does the Medical Power of Attorney grant to an agent?
Under a Medical Power of Attorney, an agent is given wide latitude when consenting to treatment on the principal's behalf. However, an agent cannot consent to:

  • Commitment to a mental institution,
  • Convulsive treatment,
  • Psychosurgery,
  • Abortion, and
  • Neglect of comfort care. 
      

And in the Medical Power of Attorney document itself, the principal may limit the agent's decision-making authority.

How is the Medical Power of Attorney revoked?
A Medical Power of Attorney may be revoked by notifying either the agent or the principal's health care provider orally or in writing, of the principal's intent to revoke. This revocation will occur regardless of the principal's capacity to make health care decisions. Further, if the principal executes a later Medical Power of Attorney, then all prior ones are revoked. If the principal designates his/her spouse to be the agent, then a later divorce revokes the Medical Power of Attorney.

- See more at: http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=65#sthash.NG5YOwTo.dpuf

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
It is a document, signed by a competent adult, i.e., "principal," designating a person that the principal trusts to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf should the principal be unable to make such decisions. The individual chosen to act on the principal's behalf is referred to as an "agent."

When does the Medical Power of Attorney go into effect and how long is it effective?
It is effective immediately after it is executed and delivered to the agent. It is effective indefinitely unless it contains a specific termination date, it is revoked, or the principal becomes competent.

When does the agent have the right to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf?
An agent may make health care decisions on the principal's behalf only if the principal's attending physician certifies in writing that the principal is incompetent. The physician must file the certification in the principal's medical record.

Can the agent make a health care decision if the principal objects?
No. Treatment may not be given to or withheld from the principal if the principal objects. This is true whether or not the principal is incompetent.

What health care decision making power does the Medical Power of Attorney grant to an agent?
Under a Medical Power of Attorney, an agent is given wide latitude when consenting to treatment on the principal's behalf. However, an agent cannot consent to:

  • Commitment to a mental institution,
  • Convulsive treatment,
  • Psychosurgery,
  • Abortion, and
  • Neglect of comfort care. 
      

And in the Medical Power of Attorney document itself, the principal may limit the agent's decision-making authority.

How is the Medical Power of Attorney revoked?
A Medical Power of Attorney may be revoked by notifying either the agent or the principal's health care provider orally or in writing, of the principal's intent to revoke. This revocation will occur regardless of the principal's capacity to make health care decisions. Further, if the principal executes a later Medical Power of Attorney, then all prior ones are revoked. If the principal designates his/her spouse to be the agent, then a later divorce revokes the Medical Power of Attorney.

- See more at: http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=65#sthash.NG5YOwTo.dpuf

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
It is a document, signed by a competent adult, i.e., "principal," designating a person that the principal trusts to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf should the principal be unable to make such decisions. The individual chosen to act on the principal's behalf is referred to as an "agent."

When does the Medical Power of Attorney go into effect and how long is it effective?
It is effective immediately after it is executed and delivered to the agent. It is effective indefinitely unless it contains a specific termination date, it is revoked, or the principal becomes competent.

When does the agent have the right to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf?
An agent may make health care decisions on the principal's behalf only if the principal's attending physician certifies in writing that the principal is incompetent. The physician must file the certification in the principal's medical record.

Can the agent make a health care decision if the principal objects?
No. Treatment may not be given to or withheld from the principal if the principal objects. This is true whether or not the principal is incompetent.

What health care decision making power does the Medical Power of Attorney grant to an agent?
Under a Medical Power of Attorney, an agent is given wide latitude when consenting to treatment on the principal's behalf. However, an agent cannot consent to:

  • Commitment to a mental institution,
  • Convulsive treatment,
  • Psychosurgery,
  • Abortion, and
  • Neglect of comfort care. 
      

And in the Medical Power of Attorney document itself, the principal may limit the agent's decision-making authority.

How is the Medical Power of Attorney revoked?
A Medical Power of Attorney may be revoked by notifying either the agent or the principal's health care provider orally or in writing, of the principal's intent to revoke. This revocation will occur regardless of the principal's capacity to make health care decisions. Further, if the principal executes a later Medical Power of Attorney, then all prior ones are revoked. If the principal designates his/her spouse to be the agent, then a later divorce revokes the Medical Power of Attorney.

- See more at: http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=65#sthash.NG5YOwTo.dpuf

Information from the Texas Medical Association : www.texmed.org

Information from the Office of the Texas Attorney General : www.texasattorneygeneral.gov

Medical Power of Attorney Form and Information : www.dads.state.tx.us

Last Review and Update: Oct 22, 2015