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Preparing For Health Care Emergencies And Incapacitation

Health care proxies (HCP) give you the power to control your health care decisions, even in the event of incapacitation. An HCP allows you to designate someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate your wishes.

At Spano & Dawicki, LLC, in Boston, Massachusetts, our attorneys will help you assess your objectives and explore your options in advanced health care planning, including the designation of health care proxies. This is an important part of the estate planning process.

Prevent Disputes And Protect Your Interests

The Terri Schiavo case is one example of many where the designation of an HCP would have prevented years of litigation and the emotional struggles faced by this torn family. In addition to a health care proxy, there are other options available to you that will make your wishes known and legally viable in the event of incapacitation.

A living will or “advance directive” expresses your wishes regarding extraordinary medical treatment. This document will detail the type of care you want under certain circumstances, though it is not a legally binding document. You can also make specific wishes known when designating a health care proxy, including:

  • Do not resuscitate orders
  • No death-prolonging treatment options
  • Final arrangements

Do I Need A Health Care Proxy?

You may wonder if a health care proxy is the right option for you. Remember that you can give your “health care agent” as much power as you want. You will want to select someone you trust and with whom you have discussed your personal wishes. Consider these questions:

  • Is your agent capable of carrying out your wishes?
  • Are they driven by their own beliefs or yours?

These, as well as any conflicts of interest, are important considerations. You may also want to make sure to choose someone who lives close to you so that they are available, if needed. It is always a good idea to have a certified elder law attorney review your health care proxy.

Don’t know where to turn? Call us at 781-231-7800 or contact us by email to arrange a planning and strategy conference.

Our office is conveniently located at the intersection of Route 1 and the Lynn Fells Parkway and is only minutes from Logan Airport, downtown Boston, and Routes 93, 95 and 128. Credit cards accepted.