The "Patient Self-Determination Act" recognizes the rights of patients to make choices concerning their medical care, including the right to accept, refuse or withdraw medical and surgical treatment to the extent permitted by state law, and to write advance directives for medical care in the event that they are unable to express their wishes.
Michigan has also passed legislation which enables you to appoint an advocate who will speak on your behalf and who will make sure your autonomy is honored in the event that you are unable to participate in such decisions. This document is referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is a document in which an individual, 18 years or older, appoints a trusted advocate to speak on his/her behalf if he/she loses communication abilities or decision-making abilities. The patient's advocate makes medical decisions only when the patient is unable to express medical wishes or unable to make medical decisions for himself/herself. The decisions made by the trusted advocate reflect the patient's wishes.
Clicking the other links in the Advanced Directives section will take you to forms for appointment of a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare which meet the requirements of Michigan law. You may establish a different form with the help of your attorney, or you may choose not to have one. Establishing a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is voluntary.
If you decide to have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (after talking to your family and physician about your health care wishes), choose someone you trust to be your "patient advocate". Fill out the forms in the presence of two witnesses (they may not be hospital staff members), sign it and have the witnesses sign it.
Your advocate may not make healthcare, custody, or medical treatment choices on your behalf unless your attending physician and another physician or licensed psychologist determine that you are unable to do so.