A Utah Medical Power of Attorney form allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated and cannot express those wishes on your own.
Laws: Medical powers of attorney are controlled by Chapter 2a of the Advance Healthcare Directive Act, in Title 75, the Utah Uniform Probate Code.
Other documents you may wish to execute at the same time as the Medical Power of Attorney include:
- Utah (Financial) Power of Attorney: This allows you to appoint someone to handle your financial, business, and other non-medical affairs, including the care of minor children.
- Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment: Also called a Utah Life with Dignity Order, this document lists your preferences when it comes to resuscitation, burdensome medical intervention, and comfort measures.
How to Fill in a Medical Power of Attorney in Utah
Follow these steps to create an enforceable form according to the requirements in Chapter 2a, the Advance Healthcare Directive Act.
Step 1: Choose an agent
An agent is a trusted individual appointed to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Who should you choose as an agent?
Your agent should be knowledgeable of your medical treatment preferences and willing to communicate them to your doctor if you become incapacitated. Agents should be at least 18 years old or emancipated minors.
Relevant Laws: Utah Code 75-2a-117
Who can’t be your agent?
The following individuals cannot be appointed as your healthcare agent:
- Your healthcare provider
- An owner, operator, or employee of the facility where you are receiving care (unless they are related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption)
Relevant Laws: Utah Code 75-2a-107
Can you have more than one agent?
Yes. You can choose a primary agent and an alternative agent in case the primary agent is unwilling or unable to serve.
If you wish to designate a guardian in case of long-term incapacity, you can also name that individual in the Medical POA form. You can designate your primary or alternate agent in this role.
Relevant Laws: Utah Code 75-2a-117
Step 2: Specify what healthcare decisions your agent can make
The form is very detailed and allows you to specify your agent’s decision-making authority.
Can you limit your agent’s powers?
Yes. Generally, your agent is authorized to:
- Consent to, refuse or withdraw healthcare. This includes care to prolong life through feeding tubes, the use of antibiotics, CPR, and dialysis. Agents can also make decisions regarding mental health care, including convulsive therapy and medications.
- Hire and fire healthcare workers
- Pose questions to healthcare providers
- Consent to admission or transfer to healthcare facilities, including mental health
- Receive copies of your medical records
- Consult with healthcare providers and request second opinions
You can limit these powers under sections D, E, and F of the form.
What is your agent legally unable to do?
Your agent cannot make decisions regarding:
- Healthcare that would be against your will, even if you lack the capacity
- Terminate a pregnancy
- Any area not specified in the Medical Power of Attorney, such as the end of life decisions
Relevant Laws: Utah Code 75-2a-123
When can your agent start making decisions for you?
Unless you designate otherwise in the Medical Power of Attorney form by indicating an expiration date or something similar, your agent gains authority when your healthcare provider determines you are incapacitated. Your MPOA remains in effect until you gain capacity or a court order determines your agent should no longer have the authority to make your healthcare decisions.
Relevant Laws: Utah Code 75-2a-109
Step 3: Sign the form
Your Medical Power of Attorney will not be effective unless you meet the signature requirements. They are listed below.
Do you need a witness or notary signatures?
Your Medical POA form needs two witness signatures.
Who can’t be a witness?
Witnesses must be disinterested adults. That is, they may not be:
- Any individual who signed the Medical Power of Attorney on your behalf (in case of physical disability)
- Anyone related to you by blood or marriage
- Beneficiaries of your estate including anyone listed as beneficiaries on life insurance policies, trusts, qualified plans, pay on death accounts or transfer upon death deed
- Anyone who may benefit financially from your death
- Anyone entitled to an interest in real estate or personal property upon your death
- Anyone financially responsible for your medical care
- Healthcare providers or their administrators
- Your agent or alternate agent
How long is your Medical Power of Attorney effective in Utah?
Unless you indicate otherwise, the Medical Power of Attorney is effective until you revoke it or execute a new Medical Power of Attorney.
How to Revoke a Utah Medical Power of Attorney?
You may revoke a Medical Power of Attorney by:
- Writing “void” across the document
- Destroy the document with the intent to revoke
- Instruct someone else to write “void” or destroy the document with the intent to revoke
- Draft a written revocation that is signed and dated by you or someone you direct to draft and sign the revocation
- Orally express the intent to revoke to someone 18 years or older who is not a relative, beneficiary, healthcare provider, or an adult who will become an agent under a new AHD
- Execute a new form
Relevant Laws: Utah Code 75-2a-114