Medical Durable Power of Attorney

A standardized form for the Colorado Medical Durable Power of Attorney is provided in this booklet (click to view or download). 

  • In Colorado, no one is automatically authorized to make healthcare decisions for another adult–not spouses, adult children, other family members, nor physicians.
  • The Medical Durable Power of Attorney (also called the “Power of Attorney for Healthcare”) is a document you sign to appoint someone to make your healthcare decisions for you. The person you name is called your healthcare agent.
  • In most cases, your healthcare agent only makes decisions for you when you cannot. This may be temporary, while you recover from an accident or injury, or long term, if you are permanently incapacitated.
  • Your healthcare agent can get copies of your medical records, consult with your doctors and other healthcare providers, and make all decisions necessary for your care.
  • Your healthcare agent is morally and legally obligated to act according to your wishes and values, so it’s important to talk to him/her about your life values, your goals, and your preferences for treatment. Ideally, the agent is someone who knows you very well. He or she must be able to devote the time and energy to handling your healthcare needs.
  • Click here for more information on how to select a healthcare agent, and how to serve as a healthcare agent.
  • A Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA) is not the same as a general Power of Attorney (POA). The MDPOA agent is only authorized to make healthcare decisions. A general POA covers legal and financial affairs. The authority of both types of agent ends at your death.

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