The Importance of Having a Health Care Proxy

The Importance of Health Care ProxiesAs people age, health issues can sneak up on them. You never know when medical care will become a necessity, or worse, an emergency. That’s why it’s so important to get legal documents in order and ensure access to any necessary medical care, no matter what circumstances come along.

One such legal document is a health care proxy, which allows you to authorize a trusted individual (an “agent”) to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make or communicate those decisions. The named individual in the health care proxy does not retain full authority over you, but rather, is designated as a failsafe.

Per the Massachusetts Medical Society website, “This Health Care Proxy document, provided free of charge, gives a clear explanation of the responsibilities of a health care agent, and simple directions on how to fill out and sign the form. There are also instructions on how to revoke or cancel the document at a later date, if you choose to do so.”

To learn more about how to set up a health care proxy and other advance care planning, please refer to www.massresources.org/advance-care-planning.html.

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