The Importance of Getting a Health Power of Attorney in Illinois

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While it’s an awful thing to contemplate, it’s wise to consider what kind of medical treatment you would like to receive if you are ever unable to communicate it yourself.  Getting a health power of attorney in Illinois is a good precautionary measure to consider.

Most people think of a health power of attorney in connection with elderly relatives. Still, it’s possible for a younger person to be unable to communicate their desires for medical care if they are involved in a serious car accident, suffer a traumatic brain injury, or are in a coma.

When an individual is suffering from some type of mental impairment or is unconscious and unable to communicate with healthcare professionals at the hospital, it is necessary for medical personnel to determine who has the authority to make decisions on that individual’s behalf.

If there is no health power of attorney, then the law states that an individual’s next of kin, like an adult child or a spouse, is authorized to make medical decisions. However, in the case of an unmarried person or a person who has multiple children, the situation can become quite complicated.

It’s frequently difficult for hospital staff to track down all of the children, and it may be impossible for the children to reach a consensus with regard to what level of care their parent would want.

Complications also may arise if a spouse has dementia or is otherwise impaired and also cannot communicate preferences for medical care. Alternatively, the impaired individual may have a long-term partner or other friend or relative who is not legal next of kin. While they may be in a position to know the wishes of the loved one, their advice may go unheeded.

A medical power of attorney can lessen the confusion and heartache at an excessively difficult time. Such a document that meets the legal requirements in Illinois speaks for you when you cannot.

In the document, you will appoint an individual to be your Health Care Agent or Proxy. You also may appoint two additional agents who will serve as back-ups in case your primary Health Care Agent is incapacitated or unavailable.

If you are ever incapacitated and cannot communicate your wishes for care to a doctor, then your trusted Health Care Agent will step in for you to ensure that you receive the care that you prefer.

If you are interested in learning more about having a health power of attorney in Illinois, call Rincker Law at (217) 531-2179 today.


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