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Article
February 1992

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: A Survey of Senior Center Participants

Author Affiliations

From the Stanford (Calif) University School of Medicine (Ms Roe); Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center Palo Alto (Calif)Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr Goldstein and Mr Pascoe); Division of Endocrinology, Gerontology, and Metabolism, Stanford (Calif) University School of Medicine (Dr Goldstein); and Department of Sociology, Stanford (Calif) University (Ms Massey).

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(2):292-296. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400140046011
Abstract

Fifty-nine healthy senior center participants were interviewed to determine how, when, and why the durable power of attorney for health care is being used. The 21 users of the durable power of attorney for health care executed a form for the expected reasons; however, a majority had not given a copy of the form to their physician and few had discussed details of their preferences with the proxy. Of the 38 nonusers, the most frequent reasons for not executing a durable power of attorney for health care were: lack of awareness of the form, procrastination, and difficulty choosing a proxy. The new Patient Self-Determination Act requiring hospitals to inform patients of advance directives will help to overcome some of the obstacles in use of the durable power of attorney for health care; however, community education must still be encouraged.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:292-296)

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