Today is tax day in America, and tomorrow is National Healthcare Decisions Day. If you couldn't make your own healthcare decisions who would you want to make them for you? You can choose if you want to, and in West Virginia healthcare providers are required to respect your properly-executed Medical Power of Attorney.
A power of attorney is not a person, it's a piece of paper. The person you choose is your agent or your representative. Your agent might be in a position to make healthcare decisions for you at the end of your life, or at some other time in your life when healthcare choices need to be made for you but you are not capable of making them.
Your agent does not have to accept the responsibility, so talking to your chosen agent in advance of executing a power of attorney document is a vitally important step in helping your wishes get carried out.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is a good excuse to talk about it. You can celebrate by facing the elephant in the room. For more information about healthcare decisionmaking in West Virginia see http://wvendoflife.org/
If you have an organization or a group who wants to host a pair of workshops for proactive legal planning, including healthcare decisionmaking, contact West Virginia Senior Legal Aid about the Get Ready, Get Set, Go! program. Email us at seniorlegalaid at yahoo.com, or call us at 1.800.229.5068