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Maryland Durable Power of Attorney Laws

It’s hard to think about a family member or loved one becoming incapacitated. However, in that case, someone else may need to make the big health care decisions. Under Maryland law, a “durable power of attorney” can allow those decisions to be made. This is a brief summary of durable power of attorney laws in Maryland.

Durable Power of Attorney Statutes

Durable power of attorney laws in Maryland are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

Health-Gen. 5-601 et seq. Health Care Decisions Act

Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts

Appointment by declarant under advance directive to make health care decisions for declarant under circumstances stated in directive based on wishes of declarant; decision regarding the provision, withholding of life-sustaining procedures should be based, in whole or in part, on the patients preexisting, long-term mental or physical disability or a patient's economic disadvantage; can't authorize sterilization or treatment for mental disorder

Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney

(1) Voluntary; (2) dated and in writing; (3) signed by declarant or at express direction of declarant; (4) subscribed by 2 witnesses; (5) effective when attending physician and second physician certify in writing that patient is incapable of making an informed decision on basis of physical examination within 2 hours of certification (if patient is unconscious, second physician is not required); (6) communicated to physician who shall made it part of declarant's medical records

Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney

Revocable at any time by (1) signed and dated writing; oral statement to health care practitioner; (3) execution of subsequent directive

Validity from State-to-State

Declaration executed out-of-state by nonresident is effective if declaration is in compliance with the laws of Maryland or the laws of the state where executed (to the extent permitted by the laws of Maryland)

If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney

Attending physician shall make every reasonable effort to transfer declarant to another health-care provider; assist in transfer; and pending transfer comply with competent individual or health-care agent/surrogate for person incapable of making a decision if failure to comply would likely result in death of individual

Immunity for Attending Physician

Any health-care provider who withholds or withdraws health care or life-sustaining procedures in accordance with this subtitle and in good faith, is not subject to civil or criminal liability and may not be found to have committed professional misconduct

Related Resources for Maryland Durable Power of Attorney Laws:

Creating powers of attorney should be taken very seriously, especially when it comes to the health care of a loved one. If you would like legal assistance with a power of attorney matter, you can contact a Maryland estate planning attorney. To learn how to create a power of attorney, visit FindLaw's Maryland Power of Attorney Form page. You can also visit FindLaw’s Living Wills and Power of Attorney section for more articles and resources on this topic.

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