What legal documents can be used in decisions regarding medical treatment?
The two types of documents on which he might rely are a "durable power of attorney for health care" and a "living will." Each document will see that his wishes are carried out, but they differ in the way they operate.The durable power of attorney appoints another person the power to make decisions regarding your medical treatment and care only when you are unable to make the decisions yourself. A living will is a written statement that informs doctors and family memebers of your wishes regarding medical care in the event of terminal illness or permanent uncousciousness. The durable power of attorney can be used during a temporary disability.
In each document, you may express your wishes regarding life support systems, withholding food and water, placement in nursing homes, or other decisions relating to your care.
You may have both a durable power of attorney for health care and a living will, taking care that the documents are consistent in your wishes. The documents may be separate or may be combined in a single document.