What should I consider when choosing a health care proxy?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2019 | Estate Planning, Firm News |

Choosing the right health care proxy is just as important as having one in the first place. The person you choose must be willing to see your wishes through, even if they have a close personal connection with you. Because this decision is so important to your well-being, Forbes offers the following advice on selecting the right health care proxy. 

Consider how hectic an emergency medical situation can be. Medical staff will be working diligently to provide care, which means the information will be coming at a rapid pace. Your health care proxy will be thrust into the middle of this situation and must act accordingly to ensure your wishes are honored. This entails asking questions of medical staff, who can be intimidating to lay people. The person you choose will also need to take the information and make split-second decisions on your behalf. Medical knowledge helps in this case, but most importantly your choice must be assertive and willing to confer with doctors and nurses freely. 

Health care proxies must also deal with family members, which can be an even more difficult task. If you decide to forgo life-extending care, your family is bound to experience conflicting emotions. In some cases, family members attempt to step in and make decisions on behalf of a loved one. An advanced directive, which is a document that spells out your wishes on paper, is crucial. But your proxy must also be able to communicate these wishes to family members when they have misgivings or disagree. 

Lastly, the person you select must be able to put aside their thoughts and beliefs to honor your wishes. This can be difficult when a health care proxy is a loved one, as this person would naturally want you to be around for as long as possible. In this case, you can choose two people, who will be able to consult with each other on the best way to fulfill your wishes regarding end-of-life care.