A durable power of attorney for health care is a legal document that gives another person the authority to make a medical decision for an individual.The person named to represent the individual is referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact. In Duarte v. Chino Community Hospital, a California Appellate Court summarized a durable power of attorney for health care as authorizing a principal to appoint an attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions, which include the decision to discontinue health care, even if that care is necessary to keep the principal alive, on behalf of the principal. The durability of which must be explicitly stated, remains valid even in the event the principal is unable to make personal decisions due to incapacity. The durable power of attorney has been defined in multiple statutes including DC ST § 21-2205, K.S.A. 58-625, S.C. Code § 62-5-502, etc.
[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]