If you are a healthy adult and fully able to make medical decisions on your own behalf, you might find the idea of designating a health care power of attorney absurd. However, your current level of health, while comforting, may not be a good enough reason to shrug off this important documentation.
Here are five reasons you might want to consider naming a health care power of attorney.
1. You want control – If you face an unforeseen medical emergency and are unable to speak for yourself, your health care decisions will be in the hands of the health care professionals who are treating you. In the absence of a power of attorney or health care directive, doctors and nurses are required by law to use every action in their power to keep you alive. And while this might be a good thing, it could also mean that you receive medical treatment that you do not want.
2. Religious beliefs – There are many faith practices that have very specific convictions regarding certain health care procedures. If you do not have someone to speak on your behalf during an emergency situation, you might receive care that is counter to your belief system.
3. Expect the unexpected – Despite all our best intentions, accidents happen. You might be following the letter of the law when traveling down the highway, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is driving with the same care. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time might leave you in critical condition and unable to voice your wishes with regard to medical treatment.
4. Peace-of-mind for your family – Creating a health care power of attorney puts you in charge of making your medical decisions. It allows you tell your loved ones your wishes before the unexpected happens so that they do not have to guess your desires.
5. Save precious time and money – If there is no power of attorney in place a medical guardianship needs to be created. This means a legal hearing and lawyers. All of which take up precious time and money before your medical needs can be addressed.
If you have questions regarding how to designate a medical power of attorney or other health planning issues in the State of Ohio, contact Attorney Bryan B. Johnson.