What to consider when assigning medical power of attorney

When planning for the inevitable and the unexpected challenges of aging, it is impossible to anticipate all the potential scenarios that may arise and decisions that they may need to make. In order to ensure that someone carries out their wishes, even if they cannot speak for themselves, people may establish advance care directives, including medical powers of attorney. 

According to, a medical power of attorney is a document that people may use to name another person to speak for them on health care-related matters in the event they cannot make choices or speak for themselves. In assigning a medical power of attorney, it is essential that people choose someone they trust to follow through with their wishes. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, choosing someone to act as their health care agent is an important decision as their personal representatives may have to make judgment calls regarding certain medical situations and treatments. People may assign their medical powers of attorney to their spouses or other family members, friends or members of their religious community. 

In deciding who to name as their personal representatives, people may consider factors such as whether the person meets the state‚Äôs requirements to serve in this role, is willing and able to talk about their end-of-life preferences, is trustworthy and will make decisions in accordance with their values and wishes, and will act as their advocates in the event of disputes about their medical care. The person whom they choose to assign their medical power of attorney to should not be their physicians or another member of their health care teams.