running_with_injured_person_500_clr_7103Did you send your child off to college this fall? You may have overlooked one important tool necessary in an emergency situation. Not having a Medical Power of Attorney for your child can create unnecessary burdens in a time of crisis.   As soon as your child or young adult turns age 18, some of your parental rights become significantly diminished; especially in the emergency room or doctor’s office.

Once a person turns 18, a parent can no longer access medical records and make crucial decisions without a Medical Power of Attorney.

  • Parental rights to make decisions for their children in an emergency are limited due to HIPAA laws.
  • Once you are 18, you have to give your parents or significant other a specific HIPAA release contained in the Medical Power of Attorney. This is true even for spouses to make decisions for one another.
  • Many people turn to online sources or copy forms from their family and friends. Be aware that these forms are sometimes out-of-date and may not contain the proper state statue format or HIPAA release that are vital in an emergency. Consult a professional on the topic for their expertise and knowledge on the proper forms.

Common Misconceptions:

  • Medical Power of Attorney is just for the elderly
  • Spouses can make all of these decisions for each other
  • I can make Medical decisions for my college-aged student.
  • I can print the necessary forms out online and fill them out on my own accurately