Because of advances in medicine and technology we are capable of living longer than the generations before us. However, that longer life might only be possible through artificial life-sustaining means. Michigan recognizes that individuals have the right to self-determination concerning their medical care, including the right to set limitations on the type and extent of treatment they receive.
If you become incapacitated and are deemed incapable of making your own medical decisions, you will need someone (a “patient advocate”) who has the authority to make all medical decisions for you. You will also want that person to make end-of-life decisions consistent with your beliefs and wishes. In order to avoid any confusion about your wishes it is important to put those wishes in writing.
Do not use a form obtained from a book or downloaded off the computer. Michigan has very specific requirements as to what must be contained within the medical power of attorney in order to be effective. There are also privacy laws that may prohibit the release of medical information to anyone without a properly signed authorization from you. That is why it is so important to have a properly prepared medical durable power of attorney.
For more information about Medical Durable Powers of Attorney, or to schedule an appointment, CALL LEO NEVILLE at (734) 425-6340.
EVERYONE over 18 years of age should have a Medical and Durable Powers of Attorney. Parents know full well that with maturity comes increasing responsibility, and along with that greater privacy rights. This is especially true should your child become ill while traveling or away at school. Even though you may be paying your child’s bills and tuition, strict privacy regulations (HIPAA) prevent their doctors, colleges, banks, and other institutions from discussing their medical condition or business affairs with you unless your child has authorized them to do so in advance. Unfortunately, if an emergency arises it just might be too late.
For this reason, before your child heads off to college it is extremely important that they sign durable and medical powers of attorney designating you as their agent and patient advocate to handle or assist them with making financial and medical decisions. As their agent and advocate you will have full authority to act or make decisions for them should they be unable to do so, including the right to obtain access to otherwise confidential and privileged information.
So, before your child heads off to college, call me to schedule an appointment and let me help you and your child with this very important matter. It is easy, quick and relatively inexpensive, but well worth the peace of mind. For more information about parent-child Powers of Attorney, or to schedule an appointment, CALL LEO NEVILLE at (734) 425-6340.