Differs from HPOA
By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™
By Thomas A. Muldowney; MSFS, CLU, ChFC, CFP®, AIF®, CMP™
By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CPHQ™, CMP™
A lay or physician’s living will differs from a healthcare proxy in only one way, but it is a significant one.
A healthcare power of attorney [HPOA] grants the power holder the authority to make all decisions about his/her healthcare. Medical science has advanced remarkably of late; but so far, life still ends in death. The creator of a living will specifically reserves to him/herself the full decision, by advanced directive, all decisions about end of life treatment. If a patient is diagnosed with a condition so grave, such that the benefit of any medical treatment is only to “delay the actual moment of death,” the living will is called an “advanced directive.” It specifically instructs the medical community to withdraw or withhold such treatment.
You will notice that all healthcare matters are still executed by the holder of the HPOA. The living will DOES NOT transfer these end of life decisions to the HPOA holder. The patient specifically retains this power solely for him/herself with a Living Will.
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