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- Glossary Term -

Medical (Healthcare) Power of Attorney

The advance directive that allows you to select a person you trust to make decisions about your medical care if you are temporarily or permanently unable to communicate and make decisions for yourself. This includes not only decisions at the end of your life, but also in other medical situations. This document is also known as a “health care proxy,” “appointment of health care agent or health care surrogate,” or “durable power of attorney for health care.” This document goes into effect when your physician declares that you are unable to make your own medical decisions. The person you select can also be known as a health care agent, surrogate, attorney-in-fact, or health care proxy. With a medical power of attorney you can appoint a person to make health care decisions for you in case you are unable to speak for yourself.

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