Quote from MunoRN
MPOA vs. Next of Kin:
I think maybe you're misunderstanding the laws related to this as there are no laws that state what you are describing.
A spouse is often the default POA following the usual next of kin list, but if for some reason the spouse is not the POA then there isn't a differentiation vs a feeding tube vs other life sustaining treatments. Although in general, the POA isn't really the 'decision maker', their role is to convey the decisions that the patient would have made, so even if the spouse is not the decision maker, if there is reason to believe the spouse has a better understanding of what the patient would want in certain circumstances then it would be their input that would guide those decisions.
The MPOA is a legal designation. The patient fills out a form that is notarized, on which they state who they wish to be their MPOA. That person's word then supersedes the authority of any next of kin.
I have seen patients who have their best friend as their MPOA because their spouse may not respect their final wishes.
There is very often not a legal, designated MPOA. In which case the decisions go to the next of kin. There is then a "rank" of which next of kin have rights in which order-- again this is law where I live. Spouse, then children, then other relatives, etc. down to friend, neighbor. Surprisingly in my state (or maybe not-- we are pretty backwards here .. ) "partner" is down pretty far on the list if the couple is not legally married.
No MPOA, and there is a feeding tube, the next of kin cannot make that decision, specifically involving feeding tubes. Only those listed above can in the OP.
The moral of this story is to get yourself an MPOA signed on a paper, and a living will. We all should.