Kane In Your Corner: Picking a health proxy and why you need one
Have you picked someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself? Health care advocates say if you haven’t, you should.
A recent study found two thirds of Americans have not named a health care proxy to make those decisions for them.
Health care advocate AnnMarie McIlwain says your health proxy may have to make difficult choices on your behalf, like how much medical treatment you should get if you’re already terminally ill. So, she says picking the right person is critical.
Other advice for picking a health proxy
- Fill out an advanced health care directive in advance. The forms are available online.
- Make copies and make sure your family knows where to find them. You may even be able to put copies on file with your doctor and local hospital.
- Talk to your health proxy about any specific wishes you have when it comes to your care, like how important it is to you to be at home as opposed to a nursing home. You may even want to get those wishes on camera.
If you need additional information on advanced health care directives and health proxies, the American Bar Association has a checklist that could help. Click here for more information.