How is appointing a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare or a "healthcare agent" different from a Living Will and other healthcare instructions?
The Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare or "healthcare agent" allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them. It covers all healthcare situations in which you are incapable of making decisions for yourself. It also allows you to give specific instructions to your healthcare agent about the type of care you would want to receive through written healthcare instructions in your Advance Directives. Appointing a healthcare agent allows this individual to respond to medical situations that you might not have anticipated and to make decisions for you. It is important that whoever you select to act as your healthcare agent and alternate agent is familiar with your values, preferences and willing to carry out your wishes above their own.