The California medical power of attorney form (also known as a health care power of attorney or HCPOA) is a document that authorizes legal permission for a person of your choice to execute your health care directives. Simply put, you allow someone else to make your medical decisions for you. A medical power of attorney allows an agent to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal. California makes your permanent power of attorney for health care part of an advance health care directive.
This combined document allows an agent to make decisions about medical treatment, medical care, and end-of-life. California law gives you the ability to make sure your health care wishes are known and considered if you are unable to make these decisions yourself. A California (CA) medical power of attorney (MPOA) is a legal document that allows someone else to make your medical decisions for you. It will take effect on the date (or event) you specify in the document, but the most common situation is that it comes into effect when you are no longer able to make medical decisions yourself.
The California Medical Association (CMA) recommends that you name only one person as your health care agent. Power of Attorney is essential in case you are incapacitated or not physically present to make decisions on your own behalf. In many cases, a financial power of attorney may be appointed to a professional as part of routine financial management. This person (also known as your “de facto agent”) will have legal authority to make decisions about your health care if you are unable to make these decisions yourself.
Usually, a medical power of attorney and a financial power of attorney are created in separate legal documents. One of the main reasons some people have a power of attorney is to have someone take care of their affairs in case a stroke or other medical event prevents them from doing so. It is possible that the medical power of attorney and the financial power of attorney are the same person. Usually, you designate only one person as your medical power of attorney, although you can name substitutes for situations where that person might not be available.
Giving authority to an agent through a power of attorney does not prevent them from making decisions and managing their affairs. Only one of the four types of power of attorney authorizes an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf. The best approach is to complete the pre-hospital “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) form and obtain a “Do Not Resuscitate” medallion, EMS approved by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority. Protects against unauthorized use of a power of attorney by an agent who takes advantage of an incapacitated principal.
Choosing people you trust to have your medical and financial powers of attorney gives you more control over your interests and ensures that your wishes are met. Because Sharon wants to address all the nuances of her mother's health and directives, she gets advice from a lawyer after her mother's medical power of attorney is drafted. To prepare for the worst case scenario, you must have these two documents handy when you enter a medical institution. If paramedics see your Advance Health Care Directive before starting resuscitation efforts, and the Advance Health Care Directive clearly tells them not to start these efforts, they probably won't start resuscitation.