Choosing someone to make decisions if you cannot.

Most of us will find ourselves unable to make direct decisions or address our own medical needs at some point.  Complicated surgery, end of life, dementia, even a tragic accident can render us without the power to make important decisions on behalf of our health.  Enter a Proxy.   

Power of Healthcare decision making can be given to someone you trust in advance of this need.  A legal document that appoints a healthcare agent is sometimes called a “healthcare power of attorney.”     This document lets you name someone else to make decisions about your health care in case you are not able to make those decisions yourself. It gives that person (called your agent) instructions about the kinds of medical treatment you want  

Because your chosen power of attorney will be handling your medical affairs, you want to choose someone who either has some experience in that area or has somewhat of an understanding of medical system/ issues. Other considerations for when selecting someone to speak on your behalf Look for:

  • Someone who lives nearby
  • Someone who is trustworthy (Can this person be trusted to follow your wishes, to show up when needed?)
  • Are they assertive? Choose someone who isn’t afraid to challenge suggestions or treatment options that go against your wishes.
  • Do they have time? You want someone who is willing to research your condition and learn as much as they can about it.

Let me know if you want help navigating this conversation.   We’ll sort out your wishes and help find talking points to bring it up. I can help find an attorney to review the legal documents. 

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