Being a Good Healthcare Agent

Everplans Blogger

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What decisions can you make?

Here are some of the types of decisions you have the right to make on behalf of the person who named you as a healthcare proxy or agent: choices about medical care, the right to request or decline life-support treatments, choices about pain management, decisions about where the person receives medical treatment, and the right to take legal action if any healthcare rights or wishes are denied.

 

Since you’re managing the person’s medical care, you might also want to acquaint yourself with the person’s medical condition and treatment options and medical history.

 

Preparation

While your duties only begin when the person you’re representing loses the ability to make health care decisions, it’s good to know if the person has any ongoing medical issues, allergies (especially to medication), and if there are any medical treatments he or she would prefer not to receive and why.

 

There are also some personal or spiritual aspects you may want to better understand. Does the person care more about living as long as possible or being as comfortable as possible; would they like to die at home; are there any religious or spiritual considerations regarding treatment or how they would like to be treated at the end of life?

 

The point is to have a conversation and bring up different scenarios so you’re fully prepared for what may come your way.

 

Once this goes into effect, here are the two most important things to figure out

  • What is the person's medical situation?
  • What are the treatment options?

 

These questions, while seemingly simple, may lead you down some difficult paths and lead to very difficult decisions. If you’re overwhelmed, do your best to try and remember that this is all about the person or people who trusted you with their care. You’re their advocate, their surrogate, and the person who is responsible for making sure their medical wishes and decisions are followed even if things get tough.

 

What would be your biggest concern if you were named as a healthcare proxy or agent?

This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com

 

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Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax, investment, or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal advisors and financial professional regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.