In July of 2009, the Virginia Legislature updated the laws regarding the admission to medical facilities of incapacitated people, pursuant to advance directives by agents. Under the new laws, a principal may authorize his or her agent to make decisions regarding medical treatments, even in the event the principal protests the treatment at issue. This is an optional provision for medical powers of attorney, which will only be enforced if the principal's treating physician has completed a "Physician Attestation" block which is incorporated into the power of attorney.
The new law also allows a principal to authorize his or her Agent to make decisions regarding admittance or discharge from a mental health facility for the treatment of mental illness. The principal has the option to decide whether to give the Agent this power only in the event that the principal agrees with the admission or discharge, or even in the event that the principal protests the admission or discharge. Again, for this provision to be enforceable, a doctor must sign off in the "Physician Attestation" block.
Finally, the principal also has the option to state where he or she would like to be cared for, in the event he is dying, as well as to list specific direction as to the type of visitation from family and friends that you the principal would like during the time you are admitted to a health care facility.
If you have a medical power of attorney signed prior to this change in the law, you may want to have your attorney help you draw up a new MPOA that incorporates these changes.