A Conversation for DNR or CPR - a Difficult Decision

USA - Advance Healthcare Directive and Healthcare Power of Attorney

Post 1

Hikaru Poet

In the United States, many of the issues raised in this entry are addressed in a similar way. An important connsideration regarding Do Not Resuscitate orders and related issues is that they are often addressed by state law and not federal law, so practices can vary from state to state. However, many states have similar laws, particularly in giving people the power to prepare either or both of the following documents to address potentiall critical medical situations.

An Advance Healthcare Directive is a signed (and in some states notarized) document in which people can spell out the circumstances under which they would prefer or not prefer resuscitation attempts. This can be prepared while a person is relatively healthy or when a person faces imminent treatment for a serious medical condition. Depending on the state, these documents may be legally enforceable in a court of law, as long as the patient has filed a copy with the healthcare provider in advance.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a signed (and usually notarized) document in which people authorize someone else to make medical or healthcare decisions on their behalf, if they are deemed unable to make or express those decisions themselves. Often the authorized person is a spouse or son or daughter of the patient. Depending on the state, these documents may also be legally enforceable.

A good time to consider preparing such documents is at the same time that one prepares or updates one's will or trust. Attorneys that specialize in family law, healthcare law or elder law would be the most familiar with the local laws and procedures for preparing such documents. Some hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers as well as community associations may also be able to provide more information about these issues and how they are addressed in each locality.

USA - Advance Healthcare Directive and Healthcare Power of Attorney

Post 2

leo mckern [space for random exotic word juxtaposition generator]

In the UK at the current time there is no power of attourney or equivalent for health decisions. This is why getting a relatives signature for consent (except for minors) is legally completely unnecessary.

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USA - Advance Healthcare Directive and Healthcare Power of Attorney

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