Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 16, 2019

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In Georgia, power of attorney for health care is called the Georgia Advanced Directive for Health Care. The Advanced Directive for Health Care form allows you to designate a representative, or health care agent, to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

In general, power of attorney allows you to decide which healthcare choices your agent will be allowed to make on your behalf. You can specify the particular procedures or treatments you wish to be carried out, or you may allow your agent to make all your decisions for you.

Requirements

Your Advanced Directive for Health Care form must be signed and dated by you and two witnesses. If you are unable to sign, a witness may sign for you if you are present and the witness has your permission. Both witnesses must be 18 years of age or older. If you reside in a hospital or nursing home, your attending physician must also sign the document as a witness.

Your health care agent must be at least 18 years old. You may appoint co-agents, or a successor agent if something should happen to your first agent.

When Your Advanced Directive for Health Care Goes Into Effect

The Advanced Directive for Health Care will take effect when your physician makes the determination that you are sufficiently incapacitated to no long make decisions for yourself.

Making Your Wishes Known in Your Advanced Directive for Health Care

Your Advanced Directive for Health Care authorizes your health care agent to all decisions about your health care that you specify in the written Advanced Directive for Health Care form. If you have specific instructions for your agent, you should put them in writing to assure they are carried out to your specifications.

Your Agent’s Authority over Treatments and Procedures

You may grant your health care agent authority to act on your behalf on any of the following issues:

  • Any procedures, treatments, and/or medications that are performed, including approving or disapproving any tests to be performed as well as the use of life-support equipment
  • Selecting the doctors that treat you, or discharging any doctor that is treating you
  • Deciding whether or not you will be resuscitated in the event you stop breathing or your heart stops
  • Deciding on the disposition of your organs and remains in the event of your death

Note that a Georgia health care agent does not have the power, under any circumstances, to make health care decisions for you regarding psychosurgery, sterilization, or treatment for mental or emotional illness, mental retardation, or addictive disease.

Georgia Advanced Directive for Health Care Form

The Georgia Advanced Directive for Health Care form and instructions are available from the state of Georgia here. Additionally, a Georgia estate planning lawyer or Georgia elder law attorney can help you with the specifics of your decision.