Power of Attorney and Health Care – General – Utah
An adult who is not incapable may make a declaration of preferences or instructions regarding his mental health treatment. The declaration may include consent to or refusal of specified mental health treatment. A declaration for mental health treatment must designate a capable adult to act as attorney-in-fact to make decisions about mental health treatment for the declarant. An alternative attorney-in-fact may also be designated to act as attorney-in-fact if the original designee is unable or unwilling to act at any time. An attorney-in-fact who has accepted the appointment in writing may make decisions about mental health treatment on behalf of the declarant only when the declarant is incapable. The decisions of the attorney in fact must be consistent with any instructions or desires expressed in the declaration.
A declaration is effective if it is signed by the declarant and two capable adult witnesses. The witnesses must attest that the declarant is known to them, signed the declaration in their presence, appears to be of sound mind and is not under duress, fraud, or undue influence. There are statutory limitations on who may act as witnesses – see § 62A-12-1002. A declaration is operative when it is delivered to the declarant’s physician or other mental health treatment provider and remains valid until it expires or is revoked by the declarant. The physician or mental health treatment provider must continue to obtain the declarant’s informed consent to all mental health treatment decisions if the declarant is capable of providing informed consent or refusal.
An attorney-in-fact does not have authority to make mental health treatment decisions unless the declarant is incapable. An attorney-in-fact is not, absent other circumstances, personally liable for the cost of treatment provided to the declarant. Except as limited by the declaration itself or by federal law, an attorney-in-fact has the same right as the declarant to receive information regarding the proposed mental health treatment and to receive, review, and consent to disclosure of medical records relating to that treatment. The attorney-in-fact shall act consistently with the instructions and desires of the declarant, as expressed in the declaration. If the declarant’s desires are unknown, the attorney-in-fact shall act in what he, in good faith, believes to be the best interest of the declarant. An attorney-in-fact is not subject to criminal prosecution, civil liability, or professional disciplinary action for any action taken in good faith pursuant to a declaration for mental health treatment. A declaration for mental health treatment remains effective for a period of three years or until revoked by the declarant. If a declaration for mental health treatment has been invoked and is in effect at the expiration of three years after its execution, the declaration remains effective until the declarant is no longer incapable.
The authority of a named attorney-in-fact and any alternative attorney-in-fact continues in effect as long as the declaration appointing the attorney-in-fact is in effect or until the attorney-in-fact has withdrawn. A person may not be required to execute or to refrain from executing a declaration as a criterion for insurance, as a condition for receiving mental or physical health services, or as a condition of discharge from a facility.
Form (§ 62A-15-1004)
A declaration for mental health treatment is not required to be in the statutory form, but must be substantially the same as the statutory form.