What is medical power of attorney?


Quick Answer

A medical power of attorney is a document providing instructions for medical care in case a patient becomes too ill to speak. According to the American Bar Association, an agent who has been given medical power of attorney for a patient has the right to make his health care decisions.

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Full Answer

Because such agents have the power to make life and death decisions on a patient's behalf, it is important for patients to think carefully about who they may choose. When selecting an agent, patients should consider choosing someone who can take the time to discuss their health care priorities and who they trust to respect their wishes. The American Bar Association also recommends that patients choose someone who lives near them and who would be a strong advocate for their wishes.

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