In essence, a DPOA
is a legal document that gives a person of your choosing the authority to act on your behalf if you are unable to take action on your own--if, for example, you experience a devastating illness, incapacity following a major surgery, a serious accident or the onset of dementia.
In anticipation of situations like this, Vermont's legislature passed Act 114, a 1998 state law that required caregivers to abide by the DPOAs
of civilly committed individuals and mentally ill prisoners for 45 days.
145) In 2000, the AARP released a report indicating that forty-one percent of individuals aged sixty-five to sixty-nine had a DPOA
In order for an agent to make legally effective gifts, express authorization to that effect is required in the DPOA
If the resident is unable to make an informed decision and his or her DPOA
cannot come to the facility and sign a consent form, the nurse should discuss the proposed therapy with the DPOA
over the phone and obtain a verbal consent.
may even allow the "agent" to re-title an incapacitated owner's property to a pre-existing RLT to consolidate assets and centralize the management of those assets in the most cost- and tax-efficient way.
The Second Circuit determined that this law violated the ADA because only individuals with a mental illness could have their DPOAs
revoked, while equally incompetent individuals who are physically ill or injured could not.
Many consider the DPOA
to be a more flexible instrument than the typical living will, as it is a simple way of delegating authority, with powers being as general or as limited as desired.
Through interpreting the direction of these effects at the resident level, it was found that increasing ADL scores (more physical impairment), increasing CPS scores (more cognitive impairment), increasing age, being white, having a terminal illness or congestive heart failure, and presence of a DPOA
or family making treatment decisions significantly increased the likelihood of DNR orders.
Without proper safeguards, the agent under a DPOA
can use the device to exploit an elderly principal.
Tiernan contends that standard provisions routinely contained in a DPOA
are not enforceable without court intervention.
, and HCPOAs can be used to transfer decision-making authority in general or specified areas.