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 12, 2019

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In Ohio, if you would like to designate someone else to make important medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, the form you will need to file is the Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney form.

It is up to you to decide which health care choices the person you designate as your agent will make for you. You can designate complete power to your agent to make all important decisions regarding your health, or you may specify the particular procedures or treatments you want your agent to be able to authorize for you.

Requirements for a Valid Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney

Your Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney form must be signed and dated by you and two witnesses. If you cannot sign for yourself, the form may be signed in your presence with your permission. Neither of the witnesses may be your agent, or related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption. The witnesses also cannot be your attending physician or an administrator of your nursing home (if you are living in one).

When Your Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney Goes Into Effect

Your Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney will go into effect when you are no longer able to make decisions about your health care. This determination is made by your physician, and may need to be verified by another physician. Note that this is different from an Ohio living will, which only goes into effect if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious.

Making Your Wishes Known

Your Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney authorizes your agent to make any necessary decisions that you have designated. If you have both an Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney and an Ohio living will, any wishes that you express in your living will must be followed by your health care agent. See the list below for examples of things you may specify in your Health Care Power of Attorney form.

Treatments and Procedures You May Designate

You can grant your agent power to make decisions on such issues as:

  • Whether or not to perform any procedure, treatment, or prescribe any medication to you, including direct approval of any tests to be performed or whether or not to use life-support equipment
  • Selection of which doctors treat you
  • Whether or not you will be resuscitated in the event you stop breathing or your heart stops

Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney Form

The state of Ohio does not have a standard Health Care Power of Attorney form, but you can find an excellent form recommended by a group of Ohio medical and legal organizations here. Additionally, if you have further questions about the process or the decision to name someone as your health care power of attorney, you can consult an experienced Ohio estate planning attorney or Ohio elder law attorney.