Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directives
In Maryland and the District of Columbia, the Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directivs or Living Will, respectively, helps people plan for how their future health care needs will be met, if they are unable to communicate.
Health Care Power of Attorney
Unfortunately, events in life impede your ability to make important life decisions. If this happens, you want to have the documents in place, so that a trusted loved one is responsible for tasks like employing or discharging health care providers, authorizing hospital admissions, or even making choices regarding life-sustaining procedures.
The Health Care Power of Attorney specifies the agent who will make these decisions. It outlines the responsibilities you are entrusting to this person. By creating a Health Care Power of Attorney you can increase the effectiveness and clarity of your wishes for your healthcare agent and aLiving Will supplement these instructions by noting what you want done in the event of a terminal illness or a catastrophic event, such as a vegetative state.
Maryland Living Will or Advance Medical Directive
An Advance Medical Directive or Living Will encompasses a similar concept as a Health Care Power of Attorney where it outlines instructions of how to make informed decisions on someone’s behalf if they are medically no longer able to make those decisions for themselves. In Maryland and the District of Columbia, the circumstances that would fall under a Living Will could include a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state, or end-state conditions, like resuscitation. A living will can also extend to include decisions that arise after death, like organ donation. Together the creation of an Advanced Medical Directive/ Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney ensure the person designated as the healthcare agent has the legal authority to enact your wishes no matter what medical circumstance arises.