Preparing for the Worst
Not only do nurses need to understand these legal considerations about who can make decisions for an incapacitated person, but we ourselves should consider what would happen in a worst-case scenario. Many of us are married or have a direct relative we’d be comfortable letting make decisions for us. But if not, and you’d prefer that your unmarried partner have power of attorney, you can fill out the appropriate forms.
No one wants to think about being injured or dying, but accidents happen, even to those in the best of health. And if the forms haven’t been created ahead of time, there’s not much that healthcare professionals can do to give someone’s partner a say in their medical treatment.