Putting One’s Personal Affairs in Order: an Estate Planning Overview – Vol. 7: Treatment Decisions Where There is no Power of Attorney for Personal Care
In the last blog in this series, I discussed Powers of Attorney for Personal Care. What happens if you don’t have one and are then in a situation where medical instructions need to be given and you are incapable of doing so? Who is entitled to give those instructions on your behalf?
If you are unable to give or refuse consent to treatment and you do not have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care, immediate members of your family will have a right by law to make treatment decisions for you. The law provides for a hierarchy of decision-makers: the spouse, then the parents, then the children, then brothers and sisters. If none of your relatives are willing and able to give or refuse consent to treatment, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (a government agency) will make these decisions.