As long as you are in sound mind, you are the only person who can and should be able to speak to your wishes about your own healthcare. However, unfortunately, there are times – often completely unexpected – where you won’t be in a position to communicate with medical personnel. Here are two examples:
- Accident: If you are in a car accident, for example, and are rushed to the hospital, you may not be coherent enough to communicate with the doctors. You may not be able to tell them if you are on medication, who they need to contact on your behalf and, in worse cases scenarios, whether you want to be resuscitated or put on a breathing machine.
- Something Happens During Surgery: If something goes wrong while you are under anesthesia, the doctors will need someone they can turn to who will be able to make decisions on your behalf.
By choosing a healthcare agent and making them your legal healthcare power of attorney, you can rest assured knowing that someone you trust will be able to speak for you when you cannot.
Choosing the person is an important task. Of course, you want to make the right decision; after all, this is the person who may someday be making a life and death decision on your behalf. Make sure they will be willing to go along with your wishes. Discuss religious and personal values with them so they know exactly what your intentions are and you will be able to rest assured they have your back if the situation comes to pass.
Lastly, make sure the person you choose agrees to take on the responsibility and that they will be able to handle making choices on your behalf. With a level head today, they may be able to say they could stop life-saving treatment because that’s your preference. However, could they do so in a moment of emergency?
Speak with a lawyer who can explain the ins and outs of a healthcare power of attorney to you and your chosen healthcare agent. An experienced attorney at Posternock Apell, PC will guide you through the process and will draft a legal document protects your interests.