A Health Care Power of Attorney is a written document in which a person, called the “Principal”, designates another person, called the “Agent”, to make health care decisions for the Principal. The guidelines for those health care decisions are described in a Living Will.
A Living Will is a written document in which the Principal states their wishes and instructions for health care decisions that their Agent would make in the event that the Principal is determined to be incompetent, has an end-stage medical condition, or is permanently unconscious.
An Advance Health Care Directive can be a durable health care power of attorney, a living will, or a written combination of both. Prepared properly, a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney are fully enforceable and clearly state your wishes. A Durable Power of Attorney, discussed elsewhere in our pages, allows a Principal to name an Agent to make decisions about non-medical personal and financial affairs.
These documents state in great detail your wishes in the event you are in a terminal condition due to accident or terminal illness. When you make a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney, you appoint a person whom you trust to see that your health care providers carry out your expressed desires about your medical care. As a result, you can rest assured that your choices about possible cures, alternative treatments, restoration of cognitive or bodily functions, relief from suffering, and options about prolonging your life will be followed.
Most of all, the peace of mind afforded to both you and your loved ones attempting to make end-of-life decisions for you is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and them. The attorneys at Williamson & Williams will prepare an Advance Health Care Directive that gives that gift. Call to make an appointment.