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When might you need a medical power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Estate Planning - Power of Attorney

Consider that you will not always be able to make your own medical care decisions, possibly due to age-related infirmities or unconsciousness during a life-threatening ailment. This is why you need a trusted representative who can advocate for your medical interests.

A medical power of attorney is somebody you give authority to make care and treatment choices when you cannot do so. It is important to know when you might need to rely on it.

Long-term care

As you get older or face a chronic illness, long-term care may become a necessity. At some point, mental decline might deprive you of the ability to make informed medical decisions on your own.

Through your medical power of attorney, you retain control over many aspects of your care. These include your treatment options, living arrangements, and daily care. Your advocate will work closely with healthcare providers to make decisions aligned with your values and desires.

Risky medical procedures

In a discussion with a doctor, you could learn you need major surgery or another invasive procedure. However, unforeseen events can arise during an operation. For example, the American Society of Anesthesiologists explains that health factors such as age, obesity and sleep apnea may increase the risk of complications after taking anesthesia.

In the event of unexpected circumstances, quick decisions might be necessary to safeguard your well-being. Having a medical power of attorney helps ensure the execution of your wishes during treatment, surgery complications and post-operative care.

End-of-life care

While discussing what will happen at the end of your life is likely uncomfortable, you probably have strong desires for how your final care should be. You could become incapacitated during your final days, so your medical power of attorney should make your final wishes known. These can include decisions on life-sustaining treatments and palliative care. You might also want to donate your organs following your death.

These situations can apply to you or anyone in your family, so talking them over with your relatives could help them understand the necessity of advance planning.