"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...
Iowa Q and A
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 December 2006.
1. Can I write a legally-binding psychiatric advance directive (PAD)?
Yes, by appointing an agent. Iowa’s Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care statute allows you to appoint an agent (called an “Attorney in fact”) to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incompetent to make those decisions yourself. “Health care” may include mental health care. A recommended form for this purpose, called a Durable Power of Attorney, is available here. The form is not mandatory but is recommended.
Yes. The general rule is that your agent can make any health care decision that you could have made if you were able to. However, you should be aware that there are exceptions to this general rule: see question 9 below.
Your Attorney in fact must act according to any instructions you have documented and your wishes as far as he/she otherwise knows. If your wishes are not known, he/she must act in your best interests, taking into account your condition and prognosis.
Yes. As explained above, it is not possible to write advance instructions only. If you wish to create a PAD, you must use a Durable Power of Attorney, but the extent to which you also document your decisions is up to you.
No. The statute does not specify any particular procedure by which your PAD goes into effect. In practice, your PAD will be followed whenever your providers consider that you are unable to understand or communicate treatment decisions yourself.
Yes. Your provider could decline to follow the Attorney in fact’s instructions in an emergency. An “emergency” includes a situation in which a person is considered a danger to him/herself or others.
Your Durable Power of Attorney remains valid until revoked. You may revoke it at any time, orally or in writing.