Power of Attorney or Medical Directive

Power of Attorney or Medical Directive

A Power of Attorney is defined as:

  • The legal authority to act for another person in certain specified matters
  • The document conferring such authority

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a trusted person to make decisions for you during your lifetime and takes effect when you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. The person you appoint can manage your financial matters and/or your personal and health matters.

In most cases this person is appointed for both roles. However, in some circumstances, it may be beneficial to appoint a different person for each role and have:

  1. an enduring power of attorney (financial) to manage your financial affairs and
  2. an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment) which can include provision for a wide range of medical actions including personal care and accommodation management and decisions relating to medical treatment.

A Medical Directive (also known as an Advanced Health Directive) is a document that sets out your wishes relating to the provision of treatments and procedures directly to your medical treatment provider. It can be made in consultation with your doctor and must be made freely and voluntarily.

In the event you may be unable to make decisions about your health care, even temporarily, due to accident, dementia, a stroke or mental illness, this document allows you to:

  • give directions about your future health care
  • make your wishes known and give health professionals direction about the treatment you want including palliative and end-of-life care.

The directive operates only when you don’t have the capacity to make decisions about your health covered by the directive and may be revoked at any time you have the capacity to make a decision covered by the directive.

For further information, please contact our office.