When you are not able to make medical decisions for yourself, a health care proxy is put into place to do this for you. If you have not established an official health care proxy, your spouse will take over this role. If you are not married, your children will be left with making your medical decisions. If you have no children, any siblings you may have will have to make choices for you. You can take over control of this potential situation by nominating a health care proxy before you need one.
Nominate an Individual You Trust
If you have a particular person in mind to be named as your health care proxy, it's important that you ask their permission to do this. While you can name anyone you want, this is a big responsibility and getting their permission is in your best interests. You should nominate a person that you trust to carry out your wishes in the event that you are not able to make choices regarding your own medical care.
Establish Your Clear Wishes Down on Paper
If you do not want to be kept alive by artificial means, you can document this in your health record. You can be as specific as you want to be in your health care proxy paperwork, letting those that will care for you in the event you can't communicate know exactly what you want. If you do not want CPR performed on you, you can sign a Do Not Resuscitate form that will allow providers not to perform CPR on you should you go into heart failure.
You have control over your medical care when you are not able to speak for yourself, but only if you make your wishes clearly known. This can be done by meeting with an attorney and sitting down to discuss all of your final wishes. The attorney can create a health care proxy for you, as well as power of attorney paperwork should that be necessary at some point in your life.
What is important to remember is that a health care proxy and a power of attorney have no control in your life unless you are unable to make decisions for yourself. The control they have is temporary, and is only limited by your inabilities. If you once again become conscious, the power to make all decisions in your life is returned to you.
To learn more, contact a law firm like Thomas & Associates, PC.