Advance Directives for Mental Health Treatment
In addition to a living will and a power of attorney for health care, there are additional documents that can help ensure that an individual’s wishes related to mental health treatment are honored. A declaration for mental health treatment enables a person to name an "attorney-in-fact," similar to an agent, with limited authority to make mental health decisions on one’s behalf.
An attorney-in-fact will have the legal right and responsibility to make limited health care treatment decisions concerning
- Admission for up to 17 days in a mental health facility
- Psychotropic medication
- Electroconvulsive treatment.
It should be noted that an agent with power of attorney for health care may make all the decisions that an attorney-in-fact may make. This additional advance directive is for individuals with specific views relating to mental health treatment.
It is important to speak with a doctor about advance directives. He or she may be able to assist in better explaining wishes to the agent or attorney-in-fact. In addition, one should make certain that copies of the living will, power of attorney for health care and mental health treatment directive are provided the doctor.
Note: This information was prepared as a public service by the Illinois State Bar Association. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information at the time of publication. For the most current information, please consult your lawyer. If you need a lawyer and do not have one, visit our lawyer referral page.
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