In life, you cannot always guarantee health and wellness for yourself. Most people do not like to think about a world where they may be unable to make decisions for themselves. Once you have an estate plan, you can relax and let those thoughts go to the back of your mind, but until then, you do not have any protection.
If something happens to you, you deserve to have a choice in your medical care. A medical power of attorney allows another person to make decisions for your care when you cannot communicate.
Consider different medical scenarios
Before you choose someone to designate as your medical power of attorney, you need to consider the decisions he or she has to make. If you cannot communicate for yourself, the person you designate has complete control. Think about your stances on feeding tubes, resuscitation, mechanical ventilation and medication. Do you want doctors to fight for your life aggressively? Do you have circumstances where you may wish the doctors to fight more aggressively? Once you know the types of medical care you would prefer, you can start thinking about who to name.
Choose a person you trust
When choosing a person, make sure he or she can talk with medical professionals and advocate for you. This should be someone you trust and know will put his or her feelings aside to follow through with your wishes. Sometimes, you may want to choose another person as a backup in case something happens to the first.
When creating a medical power of attorney, discuss your concerns with the person you designate. You do not want the role to be a surprise.