Durable power of attorney for healthcare

A medical or healthcare power of attorney allows you to name a person to make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself. It can also be called durable power of attorney for healthcare or a healthcare proxy.

The person you choose to hold power of attorney might be your spouse, an adult child, another family member or a friend. You may also choose one or more alternates in case your first choice is unable to fulfill his or her role. It is important that the person you choose:

  • Meets your state's requirements for a healthcare agent
  • Is not your doctor or a part of your medical care team
  • Is willing and able to discuss medical care and end-of-life issues with you
  • Can be trusted to make decisions that support your wishes and values
  • Can be trusted to be your advocate if there are disagreements about your care