Advance Health Care Directive
I am placing my father in a nursing home. I already handle all of his
affairs, but the nursing home is requiring me to sign a durable power
of attorney for healthcare for him. Can they do this?
Annoyed in Anaheim
The nursing home cannot force you or your father to sign a durable power
of attorney for healthcare or any advanced directive. However, if your
father is mentally competent, he should consider executing a durable power
of attorney for healthcare, which in California is now called an Advance
Health Care Directive. An Advance Health Care Directive allows your father
to appoint someone to make health care decisions in case he becomes mentally
incompetent. It can also clarify his wishes regarding life-sustaining
treatments in situations where he can no longer make his own decisions,
such as a coma or terminal illness. Executing an Advance Health Care Directive
can really help avoid future headaches.
To obtain an Advance Health Care Directive, contact the California Medical
Association at (916) 444-5532, or visit their website at: http://www.cmanet.org/publicdoc.cfm/7.