Almost everyone is familiar with the consent forms required for medical treatment. These forms show that you have been informed of your treatment options and have decided on the form of treatment you want. But what if you were incapacitated due to accident or illness and unable to give your consent for your treatment?
A Health Care Proxy:
- Is a power of attorney for medical directives
- Is legally binding in Massachusetts when you become unable to make critical health decisions for yourself
- Directs decisions to be carried out when and where the need arises in accordance with your wishes
- Enables a trusted person/persons to make decisions based on the specific (and often shifting) medical situation of the moment
- Allows you to specify your desires about treatment in several medical situations, i.e., you suffered a debilitating stroke, were in a coma, or had suffered brain damage, two physicians have agreed you have no hope of meaningful recovery your directive would specify your wishes to your care takers to:
- Do everything possible to prolong your life;
- Intervene with less invasive treatment; or
- Provide comfort only
- Helps loved ones make very agonizing decisions at a very difficult time
- Can provide vital information to tough questions within a legal framework
This Web site provides you with:
The simplest possible Massachusetts health care proxy form to print out
Suggestions on making your health care proxy readily available in the event of an emergency.
Massachusetts law regarding health care proxies.
A sister site about the nursing home admission process.
Articles related to living will issues.
A properly executed health care proxy designates a person of your choice to act on your
behalf to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. You can even make a list of limitations part of the proxy, if there are specifics forms of treatment you do not want under any circumstances.
If you don't have a valid Health Care Proxy, then it could take a court order for you to receive the critical treatment you desire.