A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a trusted individual named in the document to make important health care and end-of-life decisions on behalf of the principal (the person initiating the action). In practice, a durable power of attorney (also called a "health care power of attorney") is used by the named individual when the principal is unconscious or otherwise unable to consent to medical procedures. If the patient does not want to be kept alive through artificial respiration and has stated this clearly in a living will, for example, then the other individual may relay this information to the physician.
Colorado's Durable Power of Attorney Laws at a Glance
Under Colorado law, a durable power of attorney may be revoked by the principal at any time. A divorce, annulment, or legal separation automatically revokes a durable power of attorney if the former spouse is the named individual. Additional details of Colorado durable power of attorney law -- or Colorado Patient Autonomy Act -- are listed in the following table.
See The Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Your Health Care for more information.
|Code Section||15-14-503, et seq. Colorado Patient Autonomy Act|
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts||Authority of an agent to act on behalf of principal who lacks decisional capacity in consenting to or refusing medical treatment including artificial nourishment and hydration; may include conditions or limitations of agent's authority|
|Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney||Directive must contain the words, "This power of attorney shall not be affected by disability of the principal."|
|Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney||Divorce, dissolution, annulment, or legal separation revokes any designation of former spouse as agent; otherwise can be revoked at any time|
|Validity from State-to-State||A durable power of attorney executed in another state shall be presumed to comply with this law and may, in good faith, be relied on by a health care provider|
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney||Physician must provide for prompt transfer; physician must not provide care and comfort pending transfer|
|Immunity for Attending Physician||No criminal or civil liability or regulatory sanction for complying in good faith with medical treatment decision of agent acting in accordance with advanced medical directive|
Note: State laws are constantly changing. Be sure to contact a Colorado estate planning attorney or health care attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Colorado Durable Power of Attorney Laws: Related Resources
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