Arizona’s Mental Health Power of Attorney statutes are amended, effective in August 2016, with the adoption of SB 1169. The Mental Health Power of Attorney is a document that lets you designate an Agent to make mental health treatment decisions for you including placement in an inpatient psychiatric facility. This document is very useful in circumstances where someone needs inpatient psychiatric treatment but due to psychiatric condition is not able or willing to consent to the same. We recommend that all persons have both a traditional Durable Health Care Power of Attorney which is a document that lets you choose another person, called an “Agent,” to make all health care decisions if you can no longer make those decisions for yourself, and a Mental Health Power of Attorney.
In summary, an individual will now only be able to revoke their mental health power of attorney while the individual is capable of giving informed consent. If the individual receiving inpatient mental health power of attorney manifests a desire to disqualify the Agent or revoke the mental health power of attorney the facility must either discharge the patient or initiate proceedings for court ordered evaluation or treatment within 48 hours.
Curious about this new addition to Arizona law? Feel free to contact an attorney here at Bivens & Associates. We specialize in elder law and law surrounding mental health power of attorney.