While planning your estate and learning more about elder law in Florida, you learn of something called a health care proxy. How do you choose the person tasked with making medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated?
NYC Health + Hospitals offers tips for choosing someone to speak with your voice for health care decisions. Take steps to protect your health and medical desires.
Select someone who respects your wishes
While your health care proxy does not have to agree with your health care decisions, she or he should respect your desires enough to fight to see them carried out. Further, your proxy may have access to your medical records and may have the ability to decide which tests and procedures you receive, so this person should possess the capacity to take medical information and make a decision that aligns with what you would want.
You do not set your decision in stone
Say that you feel your close friend would make a better health care proxy than your spouse. If you and your friend have a falling out, or you change your mind about his or her decision-making skills, you may change your proxy designation. If you do, fill out the proper legal forms and let your primary physician, relatives and close loved ones know about the change.
Your proxy must feel comfortable with the designation
No matter if you choose your friend, relative or spouse as your health care proxy, let the person know about your decision and ask if she or he feels comfortable with the role. If your candidate consents, share your medical decisions, what the role entails and your medical care goals.
Take your time selecting a health care proxy. Remember, this person may one day hold your life in his or her hands.