In California , what is the practical effect of granting someone durable power of attorney vs . placing oneself in a conversationalist of someone else ? I found a boilerplate California Durable Power of Attorney ( PA ) agreement that stated , " THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANYONE TO MAKE MEDICAL AND OTHER HEALTH - CARE DECISIONS FOR YOU . " So it sounds as though the PA has mostly financial authority , but not much else . A PA cannot ( for example ) force you to see a doctor nor to submit to medical treatment treatment ? Whereas in a conservator ship , the conservator COULD compel the conservative to undergo treatment , eat a certain diet , etc . , in addition to the financial authority granted a PA . But then , if you become incapacitated , the PA then CAN make medical decisions on your behalf , right ?