Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA)

A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that allows another adult to make medical decisions on your behalf if your unable to do so. You name the person you wish to be an agent for you, and you have a lawyer draw up the documents. You can specifically state how you want certain medical situations to be handled, and the agent must follow your directions. The HCPA goes into effect immediately and will be used once a physician states in writing that you are not able to make your own medical decisions. An HCPA can be as limiting as you wish and is never used to give consent for certain procedures such as abortion.

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