Power of Attorney and Health Care – General – Colorado
(§§ 15-14-503 through 15-14-509)
An “advance medical directive” is any written instructions concerning the making of medical treatment decisions on behalf of the person who has provided the instructions. An advance medical directive includes a medical durable power of attorney executed pursuant to §15-14-506, and a declaration executed pursuant to the “Colorado Patient Autonomy Act.”
“Artificial nourishment and hydration” is any medical procedure whereby nourishment or hydration is supplied through a tube inserted into a person’s nose, mouth, stomach, or intestines or nutrients or fluids are injected intravenously into a person’s bloodstream.
“Decisional capacity” is the ability to provide informed consent to or refusal of medical treatment.
The authority of an agent to act on behalf of the principal in consenting to or refusing medical treatment, including artificial nourishment and hydration, may be set forth in a medical durable power of attorney. A medical durable power of attorney may include any directive, condition, or limitation of an agent’s authority.
An agent must act in accordance with the terms, directives, conditions, or limitations stated in the medical durable power of attorney, and in conformance with the principal’s wishes that are known to the agent. If the medical durable power of attorney contains no directives, conditions, or limitations relating to the principal’s medical condition, or if the principal’s wishes are not otherwise known to the agent, the agent shall act in accordance with the best interests of the principal as determined by the agent.
An agent appointed in a medical durable power of attorney may provide informed consent to or refusal of medical treatment on behalf of a principal who lacks decisional capacity and has the same power to make medical treatment decisions the principal would have if the principal did not lack such decisional capacity. An agent appointed in a medical durable power of attorney is considered a designated representative of the patient and has the same rights of access to the principal’s medical records as the principal.
In making medical treatment decisions on behalf of the principal, and subject to the terms of the medical durable power of attorney, an agent must confer with the principal’s attending physician concerning the principal’s medical condition.
A principal may revoke an agent’s authority or the right to consent to or refuse any proposed medical treatment, and no agent may consent to or refuse medical treatment for a principal over the principal’s objection.
Unless otherwise expressly provided in the medical durable power of attorney under which the principal appointed the principal’s spouse as the agent, a subsequent divorce, dissolution of marriage, annulment of marriage, or legal separation between the principal and spouse appointed as agent automatically revokes such appointment.
Unless otherwise specified in the medical durable power of attorney, if a principal revokes the appointment of an agent or the agent is unable or unwilling to serve, the appointment of the agent is revoked.