If you are unconscious in your car or on your living room floor, first responders are trained to save your life and now, to find your cell phone and call your ICE person. So they call your ICE number and tell the ICE person what’s going on and that they need the ICE person to tell them about you and what you would want them to do.
Shortly after things get a little more stable, the medical professionals will insist they need to see the medical power of attorney where you named the ICE person as your agent. They’ll also insist they need a HIPAA Release so they can tell the ICE person what’s going on with you medically. HIPAA is the federal law that makes all your health information incredibly private. You want your agent to have your medical info when they’re making decisions for you!
My clients have Medical Powers of Attorney naming agents, primary and secondary and so forth, to make medical decisions for them when they cannot. The documents contain HIPAA releases.
I direct my clients to email the Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA) to their agents. Here’s where smart phones are so cool. Previously, getting a copy of the MPOA to the doctor or hospital was very difficult. No longer. Because your medical agents have your document on their smart phones, when the medical professional insists they need it right away, your agent responds by requesting their email address and immediately, from their smart phone, email the document to the doc or hospital.
Please do not underestimate the importance of the above which derives its importance from the fact that when you need medical care in an emergency, you need it fast and sure. The complicated choices that follow your stabilization medically, that you can’t make because you’re still out of it, need to made by those you trust and the medical folks need to know who that is and have the document that proves it.
This stuff can save your life and also help ensure its quality. Have a modern MPOA and ICE and make sure your agents have the MPOA available to email from their smart phones. Call us if you need help updating your documents, and send us your friends who are in need of the same.
photo credit: stevendepolo