The use of advanced directives in the State of Colorado is regulated with the help of the following legal documents: Colorado Medical Durable Power of Attorney, Colorado Declaration (living will), Colorado Organ Donation form, a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) directive, and Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) (“Forms,” n.d.). Five Wishes is a legal document produced by the Aging with Dignity, which subsumes all of the above documents, thereby making it easier for both primary and secondary decision-makers to express their authority (Ballentine, 2016).
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The proxy health care decision-maker process has been introduced in the state with the enactment of the Proxy Decision-Makers for Medical Treatment Act in 2016 (Ballentine, 2016). The act allowed surrogate decision-makers previously unrecognized by the state’s law to be selected by a patient’s spouse, children, close relatives, or friends as proxies for their end-of-life care decisions (Ballentine, 2016). It has to be mentioned that under the Colorado Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act, a patient can designate an unrelated adult as a decision-maker who can take charge of many legal instruments related to healthcare. The enactment of the act signifies an essential step in the regulation of end-of-life healthcare decisions in the state.
Only 18-year olds are legally allowed to execute the documents on their or someone else’s behalf. In addition, declarants that are judged incompetent by either a physician or a court are prevented from exercising their legal right to exert influence over their end-of-life care decisions ahead of time (Ballentine, 2016). It should be mentioned that the competency is decision-specific. Furthermore, the wishes of principal decision-makers take precedence over the desires of surrogate decision-makers. Therefore, the appointment of the latter is always reconciled with the former.
Ballentine, J. (2016). Summary/comparison of advanced directives and surrogate health care decision making processes for Colorado (as of 7/2016). Web.
Forms, tools, and websites. (n.d.). Web.