When you set up your health care proxy, one thing you need to do is to choose a health care agent. They will receive the health care power of attorney powers that are needed if you cannot make medical decisions for yourself.
While many people decide to choose a close family member or friend as their agent, there are some factors that should play a role in that decision other than being related or friendly with one another.
The characteristics to look out for in your health care agent
Your health care agent should be someone you can trust and rely on to be there for you if you are hurt or ill. Since this is one of the most important roles a person can have in your life, it is necessary to be sure that this person:
- Can understand medical options and how their decisions may affect your life
- Will be able to come to you if you are involved in an accident or are ill
- Is willing to stand up for what you’d want if you could speak for yourself
- Is someone who knows what you want and will make sure your wishes are known even if they don’t agree with them
You should not choose someone who lives too far away or who doesn’t agree with your health care wishes and may decide against them. Always select someone who is going to be 100% on your side, because that is the person who will make decisions that are in your best interests. Our website has more information about powers of attorney and what to consider when selecting your agent.