Designations of Healthcare Surrogates
Often also referred to as a Health Care Advanced Directive or Health Care Proxy, this document is intended to apply in the event that an individual is ever unable to make a health care decision for themselves. In such event, another person, often referred to as a surrogate, would be called upon to make such health care decisions.
The health care decisions which the surrogate can make are rather broad in scope. They may involve the choice of medical procedures and providers, including the right to transfer an individual from one health care facility to another. The surrogate may also have the ability to apply for all insurance benefits, both public and private, that are available to the individual.
This document offers a simple and effective alternative to a guardianship proceeding being instituted against an individual in the event that they are incapacitated to the extent that they cannot make medical decisions for themselves. Guardianship proceedings are not only costly, but often result in the loss of your privacy and the selection of a less than desirable guardian is a common result. Rather than a judge choosing who should make healthcare decisions for you, a Designation of Health Care Surrogate lets the you decide who should make these decisions for you.
A Designation of Health Care Surrogate is intended to provide direction and authority, helping to avoid conflicts and confusion over your care. You cannot assume a physician has the authority to make healthcare decisions for you and (unless the patient is a minor) family members do not have the legal right to make decisions for you.