Accredited Hospices of America in Katy would like to assist you during the planning process and with the decisions necessary for hospice care. To plan for healthcare decisions, hospice patients should be able to understand their treatment options and express their wishes. Advance directives help ensure that your wishes will be honored.
Power of Attorney (POA)
A power of attorney document is a notarized document that assigns authority over a patient’s money and property to someone at least 18 years of age. This document ceases to be in effect at the time of death.
Accredited Hospices of America encourages you to speak with your family, friends, and doctor to tell them how you wish to be cared for if you become seriously ill. This directive can help family members as well, since they will no longer be required to make choices and determine your wishes without sufficient information. This document provides answers to these questions:
- What kind of medical care you want or not want?
- Who do you want to make health care decisions for you once you can’t?
- How do you want people to treat you?
- How comfortable do you want to be?
- What you want your loved ones to know?
The following list includes legal documents you need to know about before and after you decide to use hospice care. You need to seek legal counsel for help with some of these documents.
Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA)
This is a signed document that gives authority to someone at least 18 years of age and allows them to make decisions about medical treatments and health care if you become incapacitated. This document does not need to be notarized or witnessed and it does not need to be completed by an attorney.
Texas Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive
This document states that emergency health care personnel or others may not perform CPR on you should you need it. This document must be signed by both you and your doctor.
Proxy Decision Maker
This refers to the individual appointed to make decisions about health care when a MDPOA has not been identified. Family members and interested persons make a mutual agreement about who to appoint.
Durable Power of Attorney
This is a notarized document that states that the designated POA is allowed to continue their authority to make decisions regarding your money or property even if you become incapacitated, disabled, or incompetent. This document becomes ineffective at the time of death. Please note that the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires you to complete a form as well. The following type of statement must be included in the POA document: “The power of attorney will continue to be in effect even if I become disabled, incapacitated, or incompetent.“
A Living Will is signed by a patient and instructs the doctor regarding the use of artificial life support measures if the patient becomes terminally ill and is unable to make medical decisions for themselves.
In Texas, Living Wills may also be used to stop the use of feeding tubes and other forms of artificial nourishment, but ONLY IF the Living Will clearly gives this instruction and the person in question has a terminal illness. If the patient can swallow food and/or fluids, the Living Will won’t prevent the patient from being fed. The Living Will must be signed by two witnesses and doesn’t need to be notarized.
Neither witness can be a patient of Accredited Hospices of America, a person associated with Accredited Hospices of America, a physician, an employee of his/her primary physician, or persons who may inherit any of the patient’s money or property. You can find Living Will forms and other information regarding Living Wills through doctors, lawyers, health care facilities, other health organizations or an office supply store.