Medical directives and a medical power of attorney (POA) are two legal documents that are used in healthcare decision-making, but they serve different purposes.
A medical directive, also known as an advance directive or living will, is a legal document that specifies your healthcare wishes in case you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes. It allows you to outline your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care, such as whether you want to be resuscitated or receive life-sustaining treatment. It is meant to guide your healthcare providers and loved ones in making medical decisions on your behalf.
On the other hand, a medical POA, also known as a healthcare proxy, is a legal document that designates a person to make healthcare decisions for you in case you become unable to make them for yourself. This person, also known as your healthcare agent, is responsible for making decisions about your medical treatment based on your wishes, values, and best interests. They have the authority to communicate with healthcare providers and access your medical records to ensure that your healthcare wishes are respected.
In summary, while a medical directive outlines your healthcare wishes, a medical POA designates a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. Both documents can be important parts of your healthcare planning, and it is recommended to have both in place to ensure that your wishes are followed in case of a medical emergency.
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