A health care agent's primary responsibility is to make decisions that are consistent with the principal's interests, desires, and thoughts. Your health care agent must be someone you trust to make the same decisions you would make, or at least someone you trust to make the right decision. A medical power of attorney gives another person the right to make decisions about your health care on your behalf. The person designated in a power of attorney for health care helps make health care decisions for a person, if they are unable to do so on their own.
The person who made the legal document is usually referred to as a “grantor”, “donor” or “manufacturer”. You may have accessed this page if you have been inactive on the website for more than an hour. You will need to restart if the process has been interrupted. Please note that all TMA continuing medical education materials (seminars, webinars, publications) have been moved to our Education Center.
TMA's excellent educational offerings are now easier than ever to find and take online. The TMA Education Center offers convenient and unique access to the CME you need. Did an error occur or do you need help? Contact the TMA Knowledge Center A medical power of attorney is a legal document that names a person as another person's health care agent. The agent has the ability to make health care decisions and the responsibility to ensure that doctors and other medical personnel provide necessary and appropriate care according to the patient's wishes.
The creation of a medical and financial power of attorney is generally considered a smart part of every estate plan. If a doctor decides that you cannot speak for yourself, the medical power of attorney directive gives your agent the control of taking the following steps so that you can receive the best possible medical care according to your wishes. The difference is that a power of attorney manages someone's affairs while they are still alive, while an executor of a will manages someone's affairs after they die. The medical power of attorney will only come into effect when you do not have the capacity to make decisions for yourself regarding medical treatment.
A medical power of attorney is different from a financial power of attorney, a person you select to make financial decisions on your behalf, or a general power of attorney, a person you designate to act on any matter permitted by your state. It is not the same as a general power of attorney in the sense that medical power of attorney refers to health care decisions. That's why it's important to think carefully about who to name; the person you choose should be someone you can expect to make decisions similar to what you would make yourself. While talking about topics like end-of-life care is uncomfortable for some people, it's a good idea to plan ahead for medical care.
When choosing a financial power of attorney, you'll want to weigh whether the person is trustworthy and has enough financial acumen to handle responsibilities. It is possible that the medical power of attorney and the financial power of attorney are the same person. A medical power of attorney is a type of “advance directive” that provides a simple way to appoint a trusted person (an agent) to talk to your healthcare providers and make health care decisions for you (the director) when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Health care decisions consist of accepting, or not accepting, medical procedures or services to diagnose or treat your physical or mental condition.