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Health Care Proxies Lawyers in White Plains

Helping Clients Protect their Medical Needs

No matter what age you are, there may come a time in the future when you are unable to communicate your medical wishes. After a bad accident or a critical illness, medical decisions could fall on your family members, leading to confusion and stress. By creating a healthcare proxy, you can ensure that your loved ones have the power they need to care for you and information they can rely on about your medical wishes.

Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, would be happy to assist you in creating a healthcare proxy. With our decades of experience in elder law and estate planning, we are confident that we can help you plan for the future. For more information about our services and to speak to a knowledgeable member of our team, contact our law office today by calling 914-533-1756.

What is a Healthcare Proxy?

A healthcare proxy is a legal document that allows you to note your specific healthcare wishes. You can also use this document to name a healthcare agent who can make decisions about your medical care on your behalf. A healthcare proxy is often used in the event of incapacitation, like after a grave injury or a severe illness. If you can no longer make decisions on your own, medical professionals will look to a healthcare proxy instead.

When creating a healthcare proxy, you maintain the power to make decisions about your care until you can no longer do so. Your healthcare proxy document will define the conditions under which the terms become effective. Under those circumstances, your healthcare agent will have the power to authorize the medical care you have chosen. The agent can also decline medical care on your behalf.

Keep in mind that you can cancel the authority of your healthcare agent at any time. You can also change or modify your healthcare proxy document, switching your healthcare agent with assistance from our team. For more information about a healthcare proxy, contact our office today.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Healthcare Agent?

A healthcare agent is allowed to make medical decisions on your behalf. Your agent has a lot of power over your life, making it essential that you choose someone trustworthy and wise. Your agent must be at least 18 years old and can be a family member, friend, or other trusted person. You must ensure that your healthcare agent understands your medical wishes and respects your healthcare instructions, whatever they may be.

Before choosing your healthcare agent, talk to your potential agents about the kind of medical care you are willing to receive. Think about any end-of-life care you may encounter, including CPR, artificial nutrition and hydration, ventilators, and more. Ask yourself if your healthcare agent would be able to make difficult decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated.

Your healthcare agent can not only consent to treatment on your behalf, but decline treatment on your behalf. This can be difficult for some loved ones to do, as it is challenging to see a family member, spouse, or close friend suffer. Make sure that your chosen healthcare agent is prepared to decline medical treatments if you do not consent to them.

What Can a Healthcare Agent Do?

In most cases, your healthcare agent can make any healthcare decisions that you would make. Your healthcare agent can decide the amount, type, and nature of care you receive. One significant exception to this rule is the decision about artificial nutrition and hydration, also known as using a feeding tube. If your medical instructions about this matter are not clear, your healthcare agent cannot allow or deny this care on your behalf.

You can also limit your healthcare agent’s power in certain situations. All you need to do is consult a member of our team so we can include those restrictions in your healthcare proxy document. Contact us today if you have questions or concerns about the powers of your healthcare agent.

What Issues Should You Discuss With a Healthcare Agent?

It’s essential to have a straightforward and honest conversation with your healthcare agent. You should always discuss end-of-life care and life support measures.

Below are additional issues you should discuss with your healthcare agent:

  • Continued life support for a coma. Ventilators and other life support techniques fall into this category.
  • Terminal illness treatment. Hospice care and at-home care may be included in this type of treatment.
  • DNR and “do not resuscitate” orders.
  • Artificial nutrition and hydration for comas or a vegetative state.

What’s the Difference Between a Healthcare Proxy and a Power of Attorney?

A healthcare proxy is a legal document that allows someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney allows someone to make all kinds of decisions on your behalf, including financial decisions. There are medical powers of attorney that are similar to healthcare proxy documents, although they may not be as detailed. For help deciding between a healthcare proxy and a power of attorney, reach out to our team today.

Can a Healthcare Proxy Lawyer Help Me?

A healthcare proxy is an essential part of your estate plan if you want your medical wishes to be respected. Our team at the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, can assist you by helping you create a healthcare proxy document that is legally binding and detailed. We can also help you choose a healthcare agent with your best interests in mind. To learn more about healthcare proxies, call our office today at 914-533-1756.