Will your healthcare agent make the right decisions?

A Client asked a very good question today as we were discussing his health care power of attorney and who to name.  He wanted to know if he had to nominate someone who views medicine and healthcare in the same manner as he does.  My answer had many layers.

First, I explained to him that the named Agent steps into his shoes.  A Healthcare Agent is required to make medical decisions not based on his own beliefs and choices, but based on those of the person giving him the authority to act.

Then I emphasized that in order to ensure his decisions would be made and not those of the Agent, that he (Client) should make his wishes known. The discussion needs to be had not only with the Agent but with other family members. The more our choices and wishes are made known and clarified, the more likely our choices and wishes will be followed when and if the time comes.

Finally, I clarified that if he felt he had to convince the potential Agent or will continue to feel uncertain that his (client’s) wishes would be followed, then naming that Agent at this time may not be the best decision for him.  We discussed alternate individuals and through our discussion figured out that the alternate was always the better choice anyway!

 

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