Power of Attorney and Health Care – General – Georgia
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“Health care” is any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, treat, or provide for the patient’s physical or mental health or personal care.
The health care powers that may be delegated to an agent include, without limitation, all powers an individual may have to be informed about and to consent to or refuse or withdraw any type of health care for the individual.
A health care agency may extend beyond the principal’s death if necessary to permit anatomical gift, autopsy, or disposition of remains.
A health care agency must be in writing and signed by the principal or by some other person in the principal’s presence and by the principal’s express direction. A health care agency must be attested and subscribed in the presence of the principal by two or more competent witnesses who are at least 18 years of age.
If the principal is a patient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, the health care agency must also be attested and subscribed in the presence of the principal by the principal’s attending physician.
No health care provider may act as agent under a health care agency if he or she is directly or indirectly involved in the health are rendered to the patient under the health care agency.
An agent under a health care agency does not have the authority to make a particular health care decision different from or contrary to the patient’s decision, if any, if the patient is able to understand the general nature of the health care procedure being consented to or refused, as determined by the patient’s attending physician based on such physician’s good faith judgment.
A health care agency may be revoked by the principal by any of the following methods:
By being obliterated, burned, torn, or otherwise destroyed or defaced in a manner indicating an intention to revoke;
By a written revocation of the agency signed and dated by the principal or by a person acting at the direction of the principal; or
By an oral or any other expression of the intent to revoke the agency in the presence of a witness 18 years of age or older who, within 30 days of the expression of such intent, signs and dates a writing confirming that such expression of intent was made.
Unless the health care agency expressly provides otherwise, if, after executing a health care agency, the principal marries, such marriage shall revoke the designation of a person other than the principal’s spouse as the principal’s agent to make health care decisions for the principal; and if, after executing a health care agency, the principal’s marriage is dissolved or annulled, such dissolution or annulment shall revoke the principal’s former spouse as the principal’s agent to make health care decisions for the principal.
A health care agency may be amended at any time by a written amendment executed in accordance with the provisions of §31-36-5(a).
The statutory health care power of attorney form may be used to grant an agent powers with respect to the principal’s own health care. However, the statutory health care power is not intended to be exclusive or to cover delegation of a parent’s power to control the health care of a minor child and does not prohibit the principal from using any other or different form of power of attorney for health care that complies with the statutory provisions.
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