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Choose the Right Health Care Agent

When completing a health care proxy, it is important to choose the right health care agent (the “agent” identified in the health care proxy.)  This person will be your spokesperson, “stand in your shoes”, speak with your physician and medical care team and make medical decisions if you lose the ability to make these medical decisions.

In addition, you should also choose the right alternate health care agent (the “alternate agent” identified in the health care proxy) to substitute if your primary health care agent is unavailable or unable to do so.

The right health care agent or alternate agent will make decisions based on your previously expressed and discussed values, beliefs and personal goals for care.

The right health care agent or alternate must:

Your health care agent may be required to make decisions for you in a variety of circumstances. These situations might include those in which what matters most to you may not mesh with the values and beliefs of either your health care agent or your family.

It is vital that you have a discussion with a potential health care agent ahead of time to be sure you have chosen the right person.

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