According to the ABA site, studies have show that standard advanced directive forms do little to influence end-of-life decisions without informed and thoughtful reflection on your wishes and values plus person communication between you and your likely decision makers before a crisis occurs.
That’s where the tool-kit comes in. To try to make those decisions and communication with your named agents, a bit easier.
Why is A Medical Power of Attorney Important?
Good advanced planning for health care is about values, priorities and the qualify of one’s life. A Medical Power of Attorney (Patient Advocate Designation in Michigan) is literally about life and death.
However, just having a Medical Power of Attorney/Patient Advocate Destination isn’t enough. You need to have conversations with the people you’ve appointed to serve as patient advocate or medical power of attorney.
Medical Power of Attorney in Michigan
In Michigan, we have a Medical Power of Attorney law that allows clients to create a Patient Advocate Designation. This is Michigan’s form of living will and medical power of attorney. Michigan does not have a statute defining what a living will is, but we do have case law (Miller) on how an individual needs to make “clear and convincing” evidence of what their end of life decisions are. We include this evidence in a Michigan Medical Power of Attorney, i.e. Patient Advocate Designation.
Health Care Power of Attorney “Tools” for Medical Advanced Planning
Below you’ll see tools listed from the ABA website to assist with the decisions around a medical power of attorney. I am not saying you should utilize or rely on these tools, take them for what they’re worth. But here they are:
- Tool #1
How to Select Your Health Care Agent or Proxy
- Tool #2
Are Some Conditions Worse than Death?
- Tool #3
How Do You Weigh Odds of Survival?
- Tool #4
Personal Priorities and Spiritual Values Important to Your Medical Decisions
- Tool #5
After Death Decisions to Think About Now
- Tool #6
Conversation Scripts: Getting Past the Resistance
- Tool #7
The Proxy Quiz for Family & Physician
- Tool #8
What to Do After Signing Your Health Care Advance Directive
- Tool #9
Guide for Health Care Proxies
- Tool #10
Resources: Advance Planning for Health Care (updated April ’14)