Making decisions for yourself is important, but what if a day comes when you can no longer do so? While it might be hard to imagine, this is a possibility you need to plan for. In Tennessee, one of the best ways to do this is to choose a health care proxy. A health care proxy is someone who can make important medical decisions on your behalf if necessary.
What can a health care proxy do?
It is up to you how much power to give your health care proxy. You will most likely want to give this person access to your living will, which is a document that details your preferences regarding medical care. However, you can also allow this person to:
- View your medical history
- Request specialists
- Request second opinions
- Review your medical charts
- Authorize transfer to different facilities
You should be mindful when deciding who will act as your health care proxy. It is important that you trust this individual to follow your wishes and to always make decisions that are truly in your best interests. It might be helpful to ask whether you can trust this individual to make the same decision you would.
You will need to create a health care power of attorney to actually give your health care proxy the legal ability to make decisions on your behalf. This can be done at any time, although many people in Tennessee choose to address these matters during estate planning. You can visit our website if you are interested in learning more about health care proxies, powers of attorney or estate planning.