A patient advocate designation, also called a durable power of attorney for health care, is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone as your “patient advocate” to make decisions concerning your care, custody, medical and or mental health treatment, in the event you are not able to make those decisions for yourself.
A patient advocate designation can include your preferences regarding medical and mental health treatment, and the patient advocate must follow these wishes as much as possible. This is also the only legal document where the patient advocate can be given the power to make end-of-life treatment decisions on your behalf.
Just because you have a disability, or other conditions, does not automatically mean you cannot sign a Patient Advocate Designation. The level of understanding required to be able to sign a Patient Advocate Designation is quite low. A Patient Advocate Designation is a good alternative to guardianship. If you have a Patient Advocate Designation, this avoids the need for a probate court to appoint a guardian for you.
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