Who would you want making your health care decisions if you were unable to?
The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document that allows you to name a person as your health care agent. This person would be authorized to consent to, stop or refuse most medical treatment for you if a physician determines you cannot make these decisions yourself.
The person you choose should be a trusted family member or friend with whom you have discussed your values and medical treatment choices.
Washington state does not require this directive to be notarized or witnessed. Some states do require it to be notarized; you may want to do so in the event you travel out-of-state. You can change or cancel this directive at any time.
The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care form is a legal document once it has been completely filled out and signed with the appropriate signatures.
Signed copies of the completed directives should be included in your medical record, given to any person to whom you give your durable power of attorney - including any alternate people you may have named - and to your personal attorney.
Originals should be kept by someone you trust and who can obtain them in an emergency.