The COVIC-19 pandemic is shedding new light on the often-abstract concept of advance care planning, a process where individuals document what matters most to them, and then select the right health care agent to make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to speak for themselves. During this pandemic, many people have had to make medical decisions for loved ones who were unable to communicate.
Everyone 18 years of age and older should have an up-to-date health care proxy. Everyone should encourage a family discussion taking into consideration COVID-19. Conversations change lives. Lead by example. Start with your own family conversation today.
If you have a health care proxy, review it today and be sure it is up-to-date. If you don’t have one, do your health care proxy now. Be sure you choose the right health care agent and you document your values, beliefs and what matters most. Follow the Five Easy Steps. View the videos.
Encourage others that you are connecting with and supporting through the crisis. Share this website and the videos.
If you or your loved one has an advanced illness or advanced frailty, reach out to your physician or nurse practitioner to discuss the MOLST. COVID-19 guidance on MOLST and eMOLST is provided on MOLST.org.
Social distancing has brought some nuclear families together and separated others. Through the power of technology, these important advance care planning conversations can occur through phone and videoconferencing during this crisis.
Completing or updating a health care proxy can be done at an office visit with your physician or nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA). The practice of social distancing may require this to be done with a telemedicine visit via telephone or by using video conferencing technology such as Skype or ZOOM. HIPAA privacy rules for telemedicine visits have been waived during the COVID-19 crisis.
Two witnesses to the signature are required for a health care proxy. This can be accomplished with videoconferencing or a phone call. Your physician or NP or PA can serve as one witness. A staff member or family member can serve as a second witness. However, a family member cannot serve as both the health care agent and a witness.
To complete or update a health care proxy, follow these simple steps:
If video conferencing is unavailable:
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The MOLST Update is a Newsletter dedicated to providing up-to-date information on advance care planning, MOLST and eMOLST.