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Taking Care at the Holidays -- The ISBA talks about managing the health care of loved ones

Question: What are the responsibilities of a person who is named as the “agent” for a Power of Attorney for Health Care? Answer: A Power of Attorney for Health Care is a written legal document that outlines in advance who will make decisions for you if you are physically or mentally unable to make those decisions yourself. The person named as the “agent” has the authority to make all or limited decisions concerning your health care, including consent or withdrawal of medical treatment, even if doing so will result in your death. The agent can also be given the authority to make certain decisions after your death, on such things as making an anatomical gift, autopsies and the disposition of your remains. If the agent has no guidance as to your wishes, he or she takes whatever action is in your “best interest.”   For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit

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