Power of Attorney for Health Care

Power of Attorney for Health Care

A power of attorney for health care or patient advocate designation is a document that speaks for you when you can no longer speak for yourself. This document describes your wishes for medical treatment if you are unable to express them.

Under Michigan law, you have a right to designate another person, called a patient advocate, to make the same kind of medical decisions that you would make. When choosing a patient advocate, you should keep in mind that the person must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Someone you trust
  • Available quickly when needed
  • Willing to accept the responsibility of making decisions on your behalf

You can also authorize your patient advocate to:

  • Access and authorize release of information from your medical records
  • Hire and discharge health care providers and pay them from your funds
  • Give informed consent or informed refusal for medical and mental health treatment on your behalf
  • Authorize the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, which could then allow you to die
  • Donate your organs, tissues or body for transplantation, research or education

A power of attorney for health care/patient advocate designation is a grant of authority that should be made with great care. An experienced attorney can work with you to customize one for your needs. This document is commonly included in estate planning. Bill Ager’s reasonable flat fee for drafting trusts and wills includes a power of attorney for health care (patient advocate designation).

Contact Bill Ager at (734) 649-0784 or at bill@agerlawoffice.com for more details on reasonable flat fees for these services.


What is the difference between a power of attorney for health care and a “Living Will”?

Living wills let you state in writing the health care treatment you would want if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. Unlike a durable power of attorney for health care, living wills do not name anyone to make decisions for you.

No specific Michigan law recognizes a living will. Although hospitals and care facilities may honor a living will when it has been appropriately written, signed and witnessed, they may not be legally required to do so. It is recommended to use a living will if there is no one available to serve as a patient advocate under a health care power of attorney/patient advocate designation.