A Healthcare Power of Attorney? Do I really need one?

A healthcare power of attorney is a document that is legally appointing someone to make health care decisions for you should you be unable to do so yourself. In South Carolina, if you do not have a Healthcare power of attorney the Adult Health Care consent act designates who will make decisions for you among family members.

The act first gives power to spouses, then children, followed by parents after that the siblings of the patient.

However, it’s not hard to imagine a situation where a client is unable to speak for themselves and the debate begins on who has the right to make decisions between family members.  If you have 3 kids, which fo those kids makes the decision? Or what if you want to give that power to someone who is not a family member?

That is why a Healthcare Power of attorney is important. You get to designate who makes those decisions for you. You can also place any limitations on their ability to consent to life-sustaining treatment, tube feeding and the donation of organs.