Have you been to the hospital for a basic or even an emergency procedure and been asked to sign a generic health care proxy? When your life could be at risk, the hospital staff is required to ask you to sign one if you do not have one in place, should something happen where you cannot speak for yourself. But should you sign a generic health care proxy?
Hospitals use these in advance so they are allowed to treat patients in the case of an emergency. They are however generic in form. This means they are not tailored to your specific needs or your individual case. You should be cautious when being asked to sign these forms. Not only that, but because it is so important, you shouldn’t be waiting to sign one during a time of stress.
Having a health care proxy specifically designed for you is important. There are so many important items that should be included such as:
- What happens should you stay impaired after your procedure
- Do you wish to become an organ donor
- Do you want pain medication
- Should you be placed on life support
- How long should you remain on life support
This is why it’s important to have a knowledgeable estate planning attorney on your side. Part of your estate planning includes completing a health care proxy. This is important because if provides your agent the knowledge to speak on your behalf should you become incapacitated about specific medical treatments you desire, and which ones you don’t. Your estate planning isn’t complete unless you complete a health care proxy.
If you don’t have a health care proxy drafted yet, contact an experienced estate planning attorney here at Wood, Seitl, & Anderson. We have offices conveniently located in both Sarasota and Venice and serve the nearby areas.