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What is an "MEDICAL POA"?
In Ecuador, the article 15 of the Code of Medical Ethics in Ecuador states: “The Doctor / Practitioner will not make any surgical intervention without previous authorization from the patient if the patient cannot authorize it by itself, so it should be authorized by its representative or family member unless this involves the patient´s life under risk in a short period of time. In all cases, the authorization must include the following information: type of intervention, the risks, and the possible complications.”
What documents do I need to sign to assign Power of Attorney?
To sign a power of attorney you need your cedula or passport. Documents as a driver’s license or other identification documents are not valid to sign a power of attorney.
When does the Medical Power of Attorney go into effect and how long is it effective for?
It is effective immediately after it is executed and delivered to the agent.
It is effective indefinitely unless it contains a specific termination date, it is revoked, or the grantor or agent dies.
When does the agent have the right to make health care decisions on my behalf?
An agent may make health care decisions on your behalf only if you are unable to communicate your own health care decisions in any manner.
Can there be more than one agent?
Yes. Although you are not required to designate an alternate agent, you may do so. The alternate agent(s) may make the same health care decisions as the primary agent if the designated agent is unable or unwilling to act.
Who could be my Agents?
Agent 1: It must be a person who lives in Ecuador, as he/she will be the immediate person to contact in case of an emergency.
Agent 2 (OPTIONAL): It can be a person from Ecuador or a relative who is outside the country. The most recommended is to designate a person who lives in Ecuador, but there is no problem if the second agent is somebody who lives abroad.
If I want a change of agent and designate a new one, do I have to grant a new power of attorney?
Yes, in the case that you want to change agent you have to grant a new power of attorney and revoke the last power of attorney.
Can I use the passport number of my agent for my medical POA?
Yes, as stated above, we can accept a copy of a passport for your healthcare agent, however, we suggest that your primary POA agent holds a cedula, because passport numbers change when they are reissued, requiring a re-writing of your healthcare POA. Additionally, someone who holds a cedula, and is local, can act on your behalf much faster than someone who lives out of the country.
Will I receive a copy of the healthcare POA in English, so I may review it before signing?
Absolutely, you will receive a copy of the healthcare POA in English, which you should review and understand before signing.
How is the Medical POA granted?
The Principal must sign in accordance with the Ecuadorian Notary Law, in front of a public notary, if the grantor is not fluent in Spanish an interpreter must be nominated to sign along with the principal.
After this has been legally authorized the document becomes valid to be used. The Principal must be thinking freely during the creation of the Medical Power of Attorney.
It is best if the medical POA is carried at all times, as emergencies cannot be predicted. We also suggest that your agent and your primary care physician have their copies readily available and are aware of the implications and responsibilities attached to this document.