You can’t always do everything yourself — and that’s doubly true in a medical crisis.
Certain medical conditions can leave you unable to communicate with the people around you. Odd as it might sound, sometimes it takes someone else speaking to give yourself a voice in your own health.
What Is a Health Care Proxy?
A health care proxy is a person who’s agreed to make health care decisions on your behalf when you can’t do it yourself. They communicate what type of treatment you’d prefer, which facilities you go to and how to approach end-of-life care. Your proxy can also apply for Medicare or Medicaid for you and pursue legal action to advocate for your health care needs.
Getting a Health Care Proxy
You’re only one advance directive form away from designating a health care proxy. Choose someone you think would ultimately make the same decision you would in an emergency situation. This person should understand your personal philosophy on health care, be aware of other factors that may come into play during treatment, such as your religious beliefs, and know your medical history. All this prepares them to judge which options best fit your preferences.
Choose a proxy now, when you’re in a position to call the shots. The moment you realize you’re at the whim of a stranger’s judgment without a trusted friend in your corner is too late. Whoever your choice is, the best way to prepare them for their role is to start planning today.