Louisiana Health Care (Medical) Power of Attorney Form
The Louisiana Health Care (Medical) Power of Attorney (referred to in state law as an Advance Directive for Behavioral Health Treatment) is a document that allows an individual to address mental health treatments as part of a Power of Attorney arrangement. As per Louisiana’s Behavioral Health Law, any individual who is “not incapable” may voluntarily execute this document. It comprises of provisions relating to their “consent to or refusal of behavioral health treatment” as well as “a declaration or the appointment of a representative or both.”
The Louisiana Medical Consent Law governs Power of Attorney arrangements for surgical and medical treatments only. Louisiana law does not specifically address POA arrangements for behavioral / mental health treatments.
Specifically, §1299.52 states that the Louisiana Medical Consent Law [Part] “shall not apply to the care and treatment of the mentally ill, which subject shall continue to be governed by existing law independently of the terms and provisions of this Part.” In other words, a Health Care Power of Attorney is invalid for behavioral / mental health treatment decisions.
In order to address behavioral / mental health treatment, a separate Advance Directive for Behavioral / Mental Health Treatment must be created. Any Advance Directives should be compliant with relevant state laws on the matter, namely, the Behavioral Health Law.
State Laws & Signing Requirements
State Laws for Behavioral / Mental Health Treatment POAs: Behavioral Health Law
State Laws for Surgical and Medical Treatment POAs: Louisiana Medical Consent Law
Signing Requirements for Surgical and Medical Treatment POAs (§1299.58.3) – Must be signed by the Declarant in the presence of two (2) witnesses.
Signing Requirements for Behavioral / Mental Health Treatment POAs (§224(A)) – Must be signed by the Principal and two (2) competent witnesses. The document must be accompanied by a written psychiatric examination performed by a physician or psychologist that attests to “the Principal’s ability to make reasoned decisions concerning his behavioral health treatment.”