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Advance Medical Directives / Medical Powers of Attorney

A Health Care Power of Attorney (also called a Medical Power of Attorney or an Advance Medical Directive) authorizes another person (called your "Medical Agent"), to make decisions with respect to your medical care in the event that you are physically or mentally unable to do so, as certified by two physicians. This document includes the type of provisions that used to be in what was commonly called a "Living Will," allowing you to indicate your wishes concerning the use of artificial or extraordinary measures to prolong your life artificially in the event of a terminal illness or injury. You will also use this document to indicate your wishes with regard to organ donation, disposition of bodily remains, and funeral arrangements. An advance medical directive is a separate legal document whereby you appoint an agent and give that person the power to consent to medical and health care decisions on your behalf with regard to providing, withholding, or withdrawing a specific medical treatment or course of treatment when you are incapable of making or communicating an informed decision on your own behalf.

This document communicates your desires to your physicians and family members regarding all forms of medical treatment, and may be used to instruct your physician to withhold specific life prolonging procedures if at any time you are diagnosed as having a terminal condition and your physicians have determined that there can be no recovery from such condition and your death is imminent.

Your Advance Medical Directive should also set forth your preferences with regard to organ donation, funeral arrangements, and disposition of remains.

In order to be easily accessible when needed, your Advance Medical Directive should be registered with an electronic archive service that can immediately fax the document to any desired destination. This firm will provide such registration service to you at no charge unless you would prefer that the document not be registered.

Click here for our sample Advance Medical Directive.