Health Ministry – DPOA-HC

Your 18 year old son has gone away to college – you are paying for his expenses plus he is still on your insurance.

Your 36 year old daughter is newly divorced.

Should you be concerned if they have an accident or health problem that renders them unable to speak for their care? Once a child turns 18 years old, they are legally a stranger to you and you have no more right to their health information than you would to a stranger on the street.

In Michigan if your adult child gets a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and names you as their advocate you will have rights.

If your adult child has an accident or health condition that makes them unable to make decisions for their care and they haven’t made a DPOA-HC naming you as their advocate your only option may be to apply to probate court for guardianship for your adult child. Only after you have been appointed guardian would you have access to your adult child’s medical information and be able to make medical treatment decisions for him or her.

Both protected health information release (HIPAA) and the ability to make medical treatment decisions are included in a Michigan DPOA-HC.

You don’t need a lawyer or notary to do this. There are many downloadable forms on line for DPOA-HC in Michigan or the Health Ministry has more information for you. If your adult child is going to college or living out of state, it would be wise to have that states’ DPOA-HC signed also.

~Jackie Knoll, Health Ministry Member