It’s not always a simple task to choose someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. You may not have someone you know who feels the same way about life-sustaining treatments or the kinds of interventions that you’d like if you are unable to tell the medical team yourself.
It’s still important to choose a health care power of attorney, though. This person will be able to step in on your behalf when you can’t make your wishes known. They’ll make sure you receive treatment and are respected throughout.
How do you choose your health care power of attorney?
Choosing whom to designate as your health care power of attorney isn’t always easy, but there are a few questions you can ask yourself to start working through those you know. Ask yourself:
- Is there someone who lives near me who would be willing to be my health care power of attorney?
- If there someone I know with a medical background?
- Do I have a loved one who feels the way I do about medical care or treatments?
- Is there someone I know who would be willing to follow my requests when making medical decisions on my behalf?
These kinds of questions may help you put together a short list of people who would be willing to take on the role or who would be best suited to it.
Your wishes matter when you need medical care
It is important that people understand that your wishes come first when you seek medical care. Even if you cannot make your wishes known in that moment, your health care power of attorney should have access to a living will and documents that state your health care wishes.
You shouldn’t worry too much about your health care power of attorney straying from what you have asked for. In general, they are held to strict requirements and are asked to comply with your wishes when you’re incapacitated. There are exceptions, of course, which is why it’s necessary to choose someone who you know will do their best to do what is right for you in the moment.