What are the powers and duties of a patient advocate?

Michigan law provides that a properly draft patient advocate document can confer upon the designated patient advocate the right to make any medical decision the patient could make if she was able to do so for herself. Such powers include:

  • The power to make decisions about anotomical gifts
  • The power to select medical care or treatment options such as Hospice
  • The power to force inpatient hospitalization or administration of medicine
  • The power to make decisions about witholding or withdrawing medical treatment which may result in the patient's death.

These broad powers can be limited in an individually drafted patient advocate. In any case, the patient advocate is held to an extremly high standard of care in the administration of his duties.