Healthcare Power of Attorney

Legal instrument appointing health care decision makers in the event you become incapable of making those decisions for yourself. Powers can include consenting to, refusing or withdrawing treatment and choice of health care provider and facility.

Distribute the medical directives to
  • your physicians and specialist
  • hospital near your residence
  • family members, and
  • safely store you original at home.

Invalid Medical Directives

In the case of a defective medical directive or absence of one, the following persons, in the specified order, will make your medical decisions
  • court appointed guardian (if you have one)
  • spouse
  • adult children
  • parents
  • adult siblings
  • other relatives. 

Disputes may arise which among decision makers which are avoidable with a written health care power of attorney and living will-avoid conflicts.

Legal Requirement-signed in the presence of two adult witnesses
Best Practices-have the document notarized.

A number of factors go into selecting your health care decision maker:

  • trust is foremost
  • knowledge of you values and religious beliefs are important
  • living close can be desirable but not essential
  • have at least 2 successor backup agents in case one is not available when called upon

Virginia Medical Decisions Act, § 54.1-2984 of the Code of Virginia, as amended

Description: codifies medical decision making