"This time, with a PAD, I did not receive any treatments that I did not want. They were very respectful. I really felt like the hospital took better care of me because I had my PAD. In fact, I think it's the best care that I've ever received."Read More...
Alabama Q and A
Ten commonly asked questions about PAD's for Alabama
Please note: the following 10 FAQs are designed to provide a quick and accessible guide to what your state’s Statutes say – or do not say – about PADs. The FAQs do not attempt to provide a complete picture of the law in your state, nor can they take the place of legal advice. The answers were accurate when written in November 2006.
1. Can I write a legally-binding psychiatric advance directive (PAD)?
Yes. The Alabama Durable Power of Attorney Act allows you to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incompetent to make those decisions yourself. Healthcare decisions may include decisions about mental health. The statutes include a form called the “Advance Directive for Health Care”. You do not have to use that exact form, but it is advisable to do so.
Yes. Your agent can make any health care decision that you could have made if you were able to, with certain exceptions, including psychosurgery.
If you decide only to appoint an agent, the statute does not say how the agent must act. If you have written advanced instructions as well as appointing an agent, the “Advance Directive for Health Care” form allows you to choose from three options: (1) your agent is limited to giving the instructions you have written; (2) your agent may make decisions only in situations not covered by your instructions; or (3) your agent may make “final decisions”, even if they conflict with your instructions.
No. You may do one, the other, or both.
No. All that is required is that your mental health care providers believe you are incompetent to make the decision.
Your mental health care providers could decline to follow your instructions or those of your agent if the instructions concerned one of the excluded types of treatment, or if you were hospitalized or medicated under Alabama involuntary treatment laws.
The document appointing your agent is valid until revoked. It may be revoked in writing by you or someone else directed by you. If you destroy or deface it, it will also be assumed to be revoked. If you appoint your spouse as your agent, he or she would no longer be a valid agent if you became divorced or legally separated after you wrote the document. In that situation, you would need to amend the document to clarify who should be your agent.