Having a health care proxy is something that most people do not want to think about. Along with estate planning and writing a will, it is one of those things that reminds people that life is not always pleasant or predictable.
However, a health care proxy is someone who could potentially end up saving a person’s life. They hold a huge responsibility, so it is important to know as much about their role as possible.
What are health care proxies?
Tufts Medical Center discusses why all adults should have a health care proxy. First, what is a health care proxy? In short, these are people who will act instead of someone who can no longer make reasonable decisions on their own. Incapacitated individuals could include those who are comatose due to a car crash, or a person who is confused due to age-related dementia or even a brain tumor.
Health care proxies can be used even if a person is not incapacitated. For example, if a person is undergoing long-term treatment for cancer, having a health care proxy allows that person to speak to all medical professionals on behalf of the individual they represent.
Why are they crucial for all adults?
These proxies are important for numerous reasons. First, they ensure that the individual they represent will have their wishes seen through to the end, even if they can no longer advocate for himself or herself.
Next, they help eliminate the need for internal conflicts among loved ones and family. Everyone has their own opinion on whether or not to perform life-saving measures in a seemingly dire or hopeless situation. Everyone has their own idea of when enough is too much, or when to stop administering potential therapies.
Talking about losing a loved one can be hard and can easily lead to family feuds or disputes. In some cases, they can even tear a family apart.
Thus, health care proxies serve a crucial role in both protecting and aiding the person they represent, and also maintaining harmony among their loved ones.