"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...
Nebraska Q and A
Ten commonly asked questions about PAD's for Nebraska
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, by appointing an agent. Nebraska’s Health Care and Treatment Decisions 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 Power of Attorney, is available here . The form is not mandatory but is helpful because you must in any event follow the formalities listed in the statute (see question 3 below). Nebraska Advocacy Services has published some helpful further information, available here .
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.
The statute does not dictate how your agent must act. However, the more you discuss and document your wishes in conjunction with your agent, the more likely it is that those wishes will be followed.
Yes. As explained above, it is not possible to write advance instructions only. If you wish to create a PAD, you must use a Power of Attorney, but the extent to which you also document your decisions is up to you.
No. All that is required is that your attending physician and one other physician believe you are incompetent to make the decision. The physicians must document that decision in your medical records. If you are deemed incompetent and a question arises about a decision at a later stage, your physician must evaluate your competence again at that point.
Yes. The statute states that your provider is not required to treat you according to your Attorney in fact’s instructions if they are contrary to the facility’s formal policies of care. The statute also states that your Attorney in fact’s instructions must be followed subject to “independent medical judgment”: it is therefore likely that the instructions would not be followed if deemed to be medically inappropriate. Finally, your provider could decline to follow the Attorney in fact’s instructions if you were considered a danger to yourself or others, or otherwise in an emergency.
Your Power of Attorney remains valid until revoked. You may revoke it at any time you remain competent. If you name your spouse as your Attorney in fact and subsequently undergo a divorce or legal separation, you must amend your Power of Attorney to make it clear who should act as your Attorney in fact