It can be easy to take good health for granted. After all, if you have been healthy throughout your life, you might expect your good health to continue. An unexpected injury or sudden illness, though, can stop you in your tracks. Even worse, certain medical conditions can make it impossible for you to make informed decisions about your medical care.
The possibility of losing the ability to make your own health care decisions probably makes you feel uncomfortable. Luckily, there are ways to maintain some control over what happens to you. According to the New York State Department of Health, picking a health care proxy is a common and effective one.
What does a health care proxy do?
Your health care proxy has the legal authority to make all medical decisions for you when you cannot make them for yourself because of incapacitation. This includes deciding whether to continue or end life-support. Nevertheless, it is possible to put some parameters on the choices your health care proxy can make.
Who makes a good proxy?
Virtually any competent adult can act as your health care proxy. Still, as you might suspect, some individuals are better at the job than others. When making your designation, it is critical to think about your values. Choosing a person whose values align with yours generally makes sense.
You also want to be certain your health care proxy will do what you would want him or her to do when acting on your behalf. Ultimately, designating an individual, such as a relative or close friend, who has enough grit to stand up for your wishes is likely to be the right approach.