Sometimes the most important decisions about our health care must be made when we are least able to make them. Fortunately, we may appoint a trusted individual to make these decisions on our behalf through a legal process known as the durable (or health care) power of attorney. The person named in a durable power of attorney, called the "health care agent," may give informed consent to medical staff if you are unconscious, suffering from dementia, or otherwise unable to give consent. Typically, the agent follows guidelines established in a living will, in which your health care and end-of-life preferences are clearly stated.
A Brief Summary of Idaho Durable Power of Attorney Law
The following chart provides general information about Idaho's durable power of attorney law. See The Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Your Health Care for a summary.
|Code Section||39-4505, et seq. Natural Death Act|
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts||Health care decisions for principal, meaning consent, refusal of consent, or withdrawal of consent to any care, treatment, services, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual's physical condition. Also includes life-prolonging care decisions (see Living Wills for description of life-prolonging measures)|
|Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney||(1) Signed by principal; (2) dated; (3) signed by 2 witnesses; (4) person must be adult; (5) may list alternative holders of power (sample form §39-4505)|
|Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney||Effective only when competent person is unable to communicate rationally. Revocable at any time by the maker without regard to competence by (1) destruction of the document; (2) by written, signed revocation; (3) by verbal expression of intent to revoke.|
|Validity from State-to-State||-|
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney||Physician may withdraw without civil or criminal liability provided physician makes a good faith effort to assist patient in transferring before his/her withdrawal|
|Immunity for Attending Physician||No civil or criminal liability for physician acting in accordance with wishes of patient as expressed by statutory procedure|
Note: State laws change quite regularly through the enactment of new legislation, decisions from higher courts, and through other avenues. You may want to contact an Idaho estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Idaho Durable Power of Attorney Laws: Related Resources
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