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What Is the Purpose of a Healthcare Proxy?

A healthcare proxy is a legal document that is usually part of an estate plan and appoints someone you trust to make decisions about your medical care if you cannot do so yourself.

The person you choose to appoint is then called your healthcare proxy. The proxy should be someone you know and trust, who shares your views on medical care, and who is willing and able to make decisions on your behalf and provides specific instructions about the types of treatments you do or do not want.

It's essential to have a healthcare proxy in place, especially if you become seriously ill or injured and cannot make decisions for yourself. Your family or friends will be grateful to know that someone has been appointed to make decisions on your behalf.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your healthcare proxy:

  1. Choose someone you trust: This person will make decisions on your behalf, so it's essential to choose someone you trust implicitly.

  2. Choose someone who shares your views on medical care: Your healthcare proxy must understand your wishes regarding medical treatment. Discuss your opinions on various medical treatments with potential proxies to ensure they understand your wishes.

  3. Choose someone willing and able to make decisions: Some people may not be comfortable deciding about another person's medical care. Be sure to choose someone willing and able to make the types of decisions that may need to be made.

  4. Give specific instructions: You can give your healthcare proxy particular instructions about the types of treatments you do or do not want. This can be especially important if you have strong feelings about specific medical treatments, such as life-sustaining.

The decision of who to appoint as your healthcare proxy is important. Take your time in choosing the right person, and be sure to discuss your wishes regarding medical care ahead of time.

  • Published: Oct 12, 2022
  • Updated: Dec 26, 2023

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This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations or warranties about this FAQ's completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability. Each legal situation is unique. Always consult an attorney for personalized guidance.

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