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Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney allows someone you designate to make medical treatment decisions for you if you are not able to act. A medical power of attorney is the only way to require your medical treatment provider to act in accord with the directions of someone you trust.
Section 166.163 of the Texas Health Code provides the authority for you to make a medical power of attorney, and prescribes the requirements for execution of the power. It is very important that you choose someone you trust to perform this job since, with certain exceptions, the person you choose will have the enforceable authority to make any treatment decision you could make if you were to have capacity to do so, including refusing or authorizing treatment.
The person to whom you have granted a medical power of attorney has authority to make decisions that supersede any wishes you have made known through a Directive to Physicians ("living will").
You should name an alternate (or two) in case your first choice is not able to act.
A spouse does not automatically have the power to act for the other spouse, thus a medical power of attorney is necessary even when married. Similarly, a parent does not have the power to act for an adult child, thus a medical power of attorney is necessary, although the parent is the "natural guardian" of a minor child, subject to court appointment of a legal guardian of the person.
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