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Who Do You Want As Your Healthcare Agent?

A Healthcare agent is someone(s) who will communicate your wishes for care and will make decisions for you if you cannot. One of the most important parts of advance care planning is choosing your health care agent (also known as proxy, surrogate, health care power of attorney). The best healthcare agent may not be the person who loves you / you love most.  It may be someone who understands your choices and can handle stress that could happen during a health crisis.

Things to Think About When Choosing A Healthcare Agent

Is this person:

  • willing to take on this duty?
  • able to respect and follow your wishes, even if they disagree with your wishes?
  • able to cope with stress in an emotional time?
  • able to stand up for your wishes even if your family does not agree with your choices?
  • able to make hard decisions?
  • available in person or by phone—(they do not need to live near you).