Things To Consider With A Healthcare Proxy

Things To Consider With A Healthcare Proxy

Things To Consider With A Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy is defined as a legal document through which one individual transfers decision-making powers to another individual. It is also known as a medical power of attorney or a durable power of attorney for healthcare.

In terms of structure and requirements, a healthcare proxy is not really that different from other durable powers of attorney. The only distinct difference is in the purpose of the former. The healthcare proxy only covers decisions related to the medication and treatment of the guarantor. This includes major decisions such as those relating to end-of-life care.

Due to the gravity of the decisions that the healthcare agent might have to make on your behalf, it is only logical that you should think things through before making any decisions on the subject. Below is a brief discussion of some of the main factors to consider when creating a healthcare proxy.

The healthcare agent

This is probably the single most important decision that you will have to make once you decide to create a healthcare proxy. Remember that one day your life might literally fall into the hands of your healthcare agent who will then decide whether you live or die.

That fact alone means you have to look for someone you believe will always choose what is best for you and will be guided by your best interests and nothing else. In fact, this is the main reason why most people prefer to choose either relatives or close friends as their healthcare agents. Other factors to consider when choosing a healthcare agent are explained below:

  • Choose someone who can be reached easily and who will always make time whenever he or she is called upon. It wouldn’t do you much good to choose a relative living in another state or country as your agent since he or she will probably not always be able to make it on time. If you have to go down that road, then appoint more than one healthcare agent. That way there will always be someone close at hand when needed.
  • Choose someone knowledgeable. Although your healthcare agent does not necessarily have to be a health expert, he or she should have a good understanding of the treatment options available to you.
  • Choose someone you can literally trust with your life

Your values and preferences

Make sure you explain your wishes and desires to your preferred healthcare agent before you set up a healthcare proxy. Even though you will probably not be the one making the decision when it matters, it helps to have an agent who knows your wishes. That agent will be able to make decisions based on what you would have wanted.

Funeral arrangements

A healthcare proxy in the US is automatically revoked upon the death of its guarantor. However, funeral arrangements for the guarantor included in the living will can be accommodated in some states. This is particularly true for instances where the guarantor happens to be an organ donor.

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