Archive for September, 2008

The Importance of an Advanced Directive

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Terri Schiavo was the unfortunate pawn in the middle of a battle between her parents and her husband over whether withdrawal of medical aid following an accident which left her totally incapacitated.
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The media circus which ensued reached to the highest levels of the government, even taking this matter to the level of the Supreme Court and to the office of the President of the United States. Unfortunately, prior to her accident, Terri left no living will or advanced medical directive to clearly spell out her wishes were she to find herself in such a dire condition.

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What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

A medical durable power of attorney (or healthcare proxy) allows you to appoint a person you trust to act on your behalf as your healthcare agent (or surrogate decision maker). This is a person who is authorized to make medical decisions should you become unable to do so.. As with a living will, before it is possible for a a medical power of attorney to legally go into effect, a person’s physician must conclude that the patient is unable to make his/her own medical decisions. In addition, if it is determined that a person has ever regained the ability to make these types of decisions, the agent cannot legally continue to act on that person’s behalf. These documents are usually legally binding even when they come in conflict with the wishes of the individual’s immediate family.
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