Because life is full of twists and turns, a durable power of attorney is something you don’t want to be without. You should also understand the Colorado durable power of attorney laws so that you can choose someone you trust to make important decisions about your health care when you become unable. Our attorneys at Meurer Law Offices in Denver can help you do just that.
If you want to look into it yourself, a FindLaw article will provide a wealth of information. There’s medical durable power of attorney which is a legal document that allows you to choose a health care agent to make important health care decisions for you when you can’t. The document is sometimes called a power of attorney for health care. It applies to situations where you are unconscious or not able to consent to medical procedures. The document would be used if you are recovering from an accident or injury, in a coma, or if you are permanently incapacitated either physically or mentally.
At the Meurer Law Offices in Denver, we advise all of our clients to have a medical or health care power of attorney (POA) in place.
Your health care agent should understand your health care philosophy and be able to make the decisions that go along with your wishes. Matters you may want to discuss with your health care agent and put in writing include:
- Organ donation and arrangements for your body in the event of death.
- Pain relief options even if those medications may worsen a condition or hasten your death.
- Life support even after brain death.
- End care involving tube feeding, CPR, medications, and mechanical ventilation.
If you do not create a health care power of attorney, your loved ones will have to go to court to have one appointed. The court will decide who will make your health care decisions.
Let’s take a look at the Colorado durable power of attorney laws.
Can it be revoked?
Yes. A Colorado durable power of attorney can be revoked by you at any time. In fact, the law recognizes that under certain circumstances it will be revoked automatically, like when there is a divorce, annulment, or legal separation if you named your spouse as the person to make decisions for you.
Can my health care agent get my necessary medical information?
Yes, they will have access to your medical records. They can consult with your doctors and other health care providers, and make all decisions about your medical care.
Does it give the power to decide medical treatment?
Yes. Colorado durable power of attorney laws grant the authority to your health care agent to act for you if you are unable to decide for yourself. Those decisions will be made regarding consenting to or refusing medical treatment. This includes artificial nourishment and hydration and may include conditions or limitations set out by you in a living will.
Are there any legal requirements that must be in it?
Yes. The legal document must contain the words: This power of attorney shall not be affected by disability of the principal. It is used only when you are unconscious or not able to consent to medical procedures.
Is a durable power of attorney valid if it is from another state?
Yes. If it was executed properly in another state, it is presumed to comply with the law in Colorado and may, in good faith, be relied on by health care providers.
What happens if a physician won’t follow my durable power of attorney?
Your care must be transferred to another physician and the doctor refusing to follow your durable power of attorney must NOT provide care and comfort before the transfer takes place.
Is there immunity for a physician that follows my durable power of attorney?
Yes. If your doctor complies in good faith with the medical treatment decisions of your health care agent, there is no criminal or civil liability or regulatory sanction.
In Colorado, there is no one who is automatically authorized to make health care decisions for you. That’s why you need to know Colorado durable power of attorney laws, so you can be prepared with a heath care agent who can make health care decisions on your behalf if you need. Our attorneys at Meurer Law Offices in Denver can sit down with you and explain what you need to know. Making these kinds of tough decisions now can give you peace of mind.