The naming of a health care proxy is part of estate planning and is often discussed when creating a will. The health care proxy is someone who serves as a representative for your care when you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself.
If you speak to an estate planning attorney in Greenfield, MA, he or she can give you further details about the role of the proxy. A health care proxy may also be called a health care power of attorney, health care agent, or medical power of attorney.
Avoid Family Disputes about Your Care
You need to speak to an estate planning attorney about naming a health care proxy in case you become incapacitated and cannot express your health care decisions. By naming a health care proxy, you can avoid family disputes about your care. Only one person — the proxy — will know your desires and can speak on your behalf.
Speak to an Attorney about Your Concerns
By discussing this issue with an estate planning attorney, you can feel better about getting your health wishes met if you cannot speak for yourself. You will also receive the preferred medical treatments and care.
Decisions That a Health Care Proxy Can Make
Some of the medical and health care decisions that a health care proxy can make include the following:
• Choices about medical treatment including medicines, tests, or procedures
• The right to approve or decline the use of life support
• Choices in the management of pain, including the approval or refusal of certain procedures or medications
• Admission to a hospice, assisted living facility, nursing home, or hospital
• The right to see and authorize the release of medical record
• The right to apply for insurance benefits or Medicare or Medicaid on the patient’s behalf
• The right to pursue legal action on the patient’s behalf or advocate for specific wishes or rights
A health care proxy follows the directives in a living will. While it may be difficult to envision that this type of situation could happen, it never hurts to make your health care wishes known. Discuss the topic with a legal representative such as Leah M. Phillips Attorney at Law.