Durable Health Care Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy
A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney (DHCPOA) gives the person you name specific authority to make medical decisions for you when you are not able to make your own choices about treatment known. Sometimes the person you name is called a “Health Care Proxy.”
The person you name is required to consult with your doctor and has the right to access your medical information in order to make informed decisions about your care. Your Health Care Power of Attorney may make decisions about your medical treatment including getting second opinions, hiring or firing healthcare providers, transferring you to another facility and life support decisions.
A Health Care Proxy only goes into effect when you are found to be incompetent and unable to either understand and/or communicate your own health care decisions.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), your doctor, hospitals or long term care facilities may be prevented from giving out any information about your condition to anyone who isn’t your Health Care Power of Attorney.
You can download a copy of the Rhode Island Durable Power of Attorney For Health Care to be used in Rhode Island here.
It is strongly recommended that you have an attorney assist you in completing a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney.