Indiana Power of Attorney for Healthcare Law

Power of Attorney and Health Care – General – Indiana

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An “attorney in fact” is the person designated to act for the principal under a power of attorney.

“Health care” is any medical care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, treat, or provide for the principal’s physical or mental well-being. The term includes the providing of nutrition and hydration through intravenous, endotracheal, or nasogastric tubes.

A “health care provider” is the physician who has primary responsibility for treating the principal. The term includes an employee or agent of a health care provider.

A “principal” is an individual, including an individual acting as a trustee, personal representative, or fiduciary who signs a power of attorney granting powers to an attorney in fact.

An attorney in fact may act under a power of attorney without recording the power of attorney with the county recorder. However, a power of attorney must be recorded if it authorizes the execution of a document that itself must be recorded.

In a power of attorney, a principal may nominate a guardian for consideration by the court if protective proceedings for the principal’s person or estate are commenced. The court will make an appointment in accordance with the principal’s most recent nomination in a power of attorney except for good cause or disqualification.

Unless the power of attorney provides to the contrary, if more than one (1) attorney in fact is named, each attorney in fact may act independently of the other attorney in fact in the exercise of a power or duty.

Except as otherwise stated in the power of attorney, if more than one attorney in fact is named and one attorney in fact fails to serve or ceases to serve, then the remaining attorney in fact may continue to act under the power of attorney without a successor for the attorney in fact who failed to serve or ceased to serve.

Except as otherwise stated in the power of attorney, an attorney in fact fails to serve or ceases to serve when:

the attorney in fact dies;

the attorney in fact resigns;

the attorney in fact is adjudged incapacitated by a court;

the attorney in fact cannot be located upon reasonable inquiry;

the attorney in fact, if at one time the principal’s spouse, legally is no longer the principal’s spouse; or

a physician familiar with the condition of the current attorney in fact certifies in writing to the immediate successor attorney in fact that the current attorney in fact is unable to transact a significant part of the business required under the power of attorney.

Except as otherwise stated in the power of attorney, if the replaced attorney in fact reappears or is subsequently able to transact business, the successor attorney in fact shall remain as the attorney in fact.

An attorney in fact is not required to exercise the powers granted under a power of attorney or to assume control of or responsibility for any of the principal’s property, care, or affairs, regardless of the principal’s physical or mental condition.

An attorney in fact must use due care to act for the benefit of the principal under the terms of the power of attorney.

An individual capable of consenting to the his own health care or to the health care of another may consent to health care administered in good faith under the religious tenets and practices of the individual requiring health care.

Language conferring general authority with respect to health care powers means the principal authorizes the attorney in fact to do the following:

Employ or contract with servants, companions, or health care providers to care for the principal.

If the attorney in fact is an individual, consent to or refuse health care for the principal who is an individual by properly executing and attaching to the power of attorney a declaration or appointment, or both.

Admit or release the principal from a hospital or health care facility.

Have access to records, including medical records, concerning the principal’s condition.

Make anatomical gifts on the principal’s behalf.

Request an autopsy.

Make plans for the disposition of the principal’s body.

If an attorney in fact has the authority to consent to or refuse health care, the attorney in fact may be empowered to ask in the name of the principal for health care to be withdrawn or withheld when it is not beneficial or when any benefit is outweighed by the demands of the treatment and death may result.

The attorney in fact must ascertain whether the principal has notified the principal’s health care providers that a power of attorney has been executed. If the principal has not notified the principal’s health care providers of the existence of a power of attorney, the attorney in fact must notify the health care providers of the existence of the power of attorney.

A health care provider furnished with a copy of a declaration under IC 16-36-4 or an appointment under IC 16-36-1 must make the documents a part of the principal’s medical records. If a change in or termination of a power of attorney becomes known to the health care provider, the change or termination must be noted in the principal’s medical records.

Whenever a health care provider believes a patient may lack the capacity to give informed consent to health care the provider considers necessary, the provider shall consult with the attorney in fact who has power to act for the patient.

A health care provider must comply with a health care decision made by an attorney in fact under a power of attorney if the decision is communicated to the provider. A health care provider may continue to administer treatment for the principal’s comfort care or the alleviation of pain in addition to treatment made under the decision of the attorney in fact.

A health care provider must give an attorney in fact authorized to receive information under a power of attorney the same access as the principal has to examine and copy the principal’s medical records.

If a power of attorney authorizes the attorney in fact to make an anatomical gift on behalf of the principal, authorize an autopsy of the principal’s remains, or direct the disposition of the principal’s remains, then the anatomical gift, autopsy, or remains disposition shall be considered the act of the principal.

All acts performed by an attorney in fact under a power of attorney have the same effect, provide the same benefit, and bind the principal and the principal’s successors in interest in the same manner as if the principal were competent, not incapacitated, and had acted on the principal’s own behalf.

A written power of attorney that purports to be signed by the principal named in the power of attorney is presumed valid. A party may rely on the presumption of validity unless the party has actual knowledge that the power was not validly executed.

A copy of the power of attorney has the same force and effect as the original power of attorney if the attorney in fact certifies that the copy is a true and correct copy.

Except as otherwise stated in the power of attorney, an executed power of attorney may be revoked only by a written instrument of revocation that identifies the power of attorney revoked and is signed by the principal.

A revocation is not effective unless the attorney in fact or other person has actual knowledge of the revocation.

If an executed power of attorney was recorded, the revocation of the power of attorney must be recorded.

Except as otherwise stated in the power of attorney, a power of attorney is not terminated by the incapacity of the principal.

The incapacity of a principal who has previously executed a power of attorney that terminates on the principal’s incapacity does not revoke or terminate the power of attorney as to the attorney in fact or other person who, without actual knowledge of the incapacity of the principal, acts in good faith under the power. Unless otherwise invalid or unenforceable, an action taken under this subsection binds the principal and the principal’s successors in interest.

A power of attorney terminates on the death of the principal. However, the death of a principal does not revoke or terminate the power of attorney as to the attorney in fact or other person who, without actual knowledge of the death of the principal, acts in good faith under the power.

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