An Oregon Advance Directive helps you prepare for medical situations where you’re unable to communicate your health care preferences to a doctor or emergency personnel.
In Oregon, your Advance Directive allows you to select someone as your healthcare agent. Your healthcare agent is responsible for making medical decisions in your best interest if you can’t physically or mentally make those decisions evident.
As you complete your legal document, you may observe one or more of the following terms, which are outlined in Section 127.505 of the Oregon Revised Statutes:
- Attorney-in-fact: Sometimes referred to as an agent, this person is appointed to make healthcare decisions when you become incapacitated.
- Health care representative: Similar to an attorney-in-fact, this person can either be explicitly designated to make decisions on your behalf or may be appointed by the court to take on this critical role.
- Attending physician: In Oregon, the primary doctor responsible for your care is known as your attending physician.
- Instrument: This term refers to any Advance Directive, court appointment, or court order governing medical decisions.
- Principal: The principal is the person who creates the form or seeks a health care representative. If you draft a Health Care Directive, you will be referred to as the principal.
Choosing Your Agent
Often referred to in Oregon as a health care representative or attorney-in-fact, your agent makes various decisions on your behalf. Many people can take on this vital role, but not all can handle the responsibility.
Beyond personal preference, this state’s requirements for selecting agents are surprisingly minimal. § 127.505 of the Oregon Revised Statutes states that your agent or attorney-in-fact must be an adult. This person cannot also serve as your witness.
You can select an alternate attorney-in-fact who would take over as an agent if your primary representative cannot fulfill their duties. This person should also abide by the requirements outlined in the Oregon Revised Statutes.
Who is not allowed to serve as an agent?
§ 127.520 of the Oregon Revised Statutes prohibits attending physicians from serving as agents unless they are related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage. Likewise, the owner of your healthcare facility cannot be appointed to this role after you have been admitted to said facility.
Your Advance Directive gives your selected agent various powers and responsibilities, as § 127.535 of the Oregon Revised Statutes describes. These include the following:
- Receiving and reviewing all materials and notifications regarding your care
- Making decisions related to medical treatments or prescription medications
- Withdrawing you from life-sustaining procedures, including artificially administered hydration or nutrition, if granted your explicit permission.
Section 127.535 of the Oregon Revised Statutes also states that your agent’s authority over healthcare decisions does not render them responsible for ensuing medical expenses.
Which decisions are prohibited?
According to § 127.540 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, your agent cannot consent to the following on your behalf:
- Convulsive treatment
If not granted permission, your agent may also be barred from making decisions regarding life-sustaining procedures.
To empower your agent to make non-healthcare-related decisions on your behalf, use a General Power of Attorney form.