My daughter is refusing lifesaving medical treatment. Can I get a temporary power of attorney so she has the surgery she needs?
This question was raised in a recent episode of the TV medical drama Chicago Med when a couple’s adult daughter refused the lifesaving medical treatment she needed.
You have the right and responsibility to make medical decisions for your child until they reach the age of 18. In Illinois, the age of majority is 18, and adults 18 and over are legally entitled to make (most of) their own decisions and live their life as they choose, rather than as their parents choose. Your adult child has the right to:
• make their own medical decisions even if they disagree with your’s
• keep their medical information private so that you do no have access to their medical files or decisions
• give you authorization to make medical decisions for them, and under what circumstances
• give you authorization to read your medical files, and under what circumstances
If your child is physically or mentally unable to make their own decision, you can ask the courts to grant you a temporary power of attorney so that you can manage their medical and physical affairs and make decisions on their behalf. If the doctors and courts do not rule that your adult child is unable to make medical decisions for themself, you cannot be given a temporary medical power of attorney.
A Medical Power of Attorney (POA) grants you the legal authority to make those decisions for your adult child. A medical POA is a durable power of attorney for healthcare the lasts indefinitely and the person granting the POA authority typically retains the power to revoke it.
An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you make and set up a legal medical directive or power of attorney. Consulting an experienced probate, trust and estates attorney in Chicago or Lombard can give you protection and peace of mind. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.
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