Peace of Mind: A Health Care Proxy Ensures That Wishes Will Be Honored
April 9, 2012
No one likes to think about what might happen if they were in a serious accident or had a disease that left them unable to speak and make their wishes known.
But, unfortunately, such situations occur every day. And although people may have expressed opinions about medical measures that could prolong their life if they became ill or injured, loved ones may disagree on what is best.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to the problem that costs $100 or less. People can create a document that declares someone their health care proxy, granting them the power to make medical decisions if a doctor declares the patient mentally incapacitated. This can result from a wide variety of circumstances, ranging from a stroke or advanced dementia to an auto accident. The document can include specific instructions, such as whether the person wants to be an organ donor or be cremated.
“Everyone who is at least 18 should complete a health care proxy after giving simple consideration to their intentions and the people they plan to appoint as future decision makers,” said Hyman Darling, an attorney with Springfield-based Bacon and Wilson, P.C., noting that it’s important to discuss decisions with the person named as agent/ decision maker and provide them with a copy of the document. …
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by: Kathleen Mitchell
April 9, 2012