Sudden, serious illnesses or injuries may leave people physically or mentally incapacitated. In such conditions, patients often do not have the ability to tell the doctors what they do and do not want in terms of treatment and care. Therefore, the decisions fall to someone else. By naming a health care representative, people may decide for themselves who will make such choices for them.
When deciding on a health care representative, people should consider a number of factors to make sure they select the right person to make medical decisions on their behalf.
Choose someone open to talking
According to Cigna.com, a person’s chosen health care representative will have substantial responsibility in the event of his or her incapacity. Therefore, they will find it helpful to select someone with whom they can talk about the potentially difficult decisions that may come up. It often benefits people to choose health care agents who will listen to their values, beliefs and preferences, and use them to guide their choices should they have to make medical decisions.
Pick someone willing to stand up
According to WebMD.com, when serious medical situations occur, people often have differing views on the best course of action. Whether they share the beliefs or not, it benefits those naming health care representatives to choose someone willing to push for the medical treatments they would and would not want. This may help ensure their wishes get carried out, even if they cannot voice them for themselves.
When otherwise healthy, it may seem unnecessary to think about incapacity. However, having advance directives, including health care proxies, in place may help ensure that in the event of an unexpected illness or injury, people will still have their preferences followed.