It is important to plan ahead for the possibility of a serious illness that may make it impossible for someone to make his own medical…

Try: It is important to plan ahead for the possibility of a serious illness that may make it impossible for someone to make his own medical decisions as a result of many well-publicized right to die cases states have made it possible for individuals to give detailed instructions about the kind of care they would like to receive if they become terminally ill or are in a permanently unconscious state these instructions fall under the general category of health care decision making depending on the state in which you live this may be written in a health care proxy a medical directive or a living will below is a brief overview of a health care proxy health care proxy if an individual becomes unable to make his own medical decisions it is important that someone have the legal authority to communicate that person person’s wishes about medical treatment a health care proxy allows an individual to appoint someone else called an agent to act as their agent for medical decisions a health care proxy is especially important to have if an individual and his family members disagree about treatment in general a health care proxy takes effect only when the individual requires medical treatment and a doctor determines that he is unable to communicate his or her wishes concerning treatment how this works exactly can depend on the laws of the particular state and the terms of the health care proxy if the individual later becomes able to express his or her own wishes he or she will be listened to and the health care proxy will have no effect appointing an agent the agent should be a family member or friend that the individual trusts to follow his or her instructions before creating a health care proxy the individual should talk to the person whom he or she wants to name as the agent about his wishes about medical decisions especially life-saving treatment once the health care proxy is drawn up the agent should keep the original document the individual should have a copy and give one to his doctor to keep with the individual’s medical records those interested in drawing up a health care proxy document should contact an attorney who is skilled and experienced in elder law many hospitals and nursing homes also provide forms as do some public agencies information references "health care decisions " available at

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Categories: Sage, Topic, Legal, Medical Physical, Verbal Communication, Poor Verbal Comm, Cognitive Awareness, Unaware

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Keywords: Health care legal proxy unable to communicate medical decisions

*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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