Even though the human body is resilient, it can also be extremely fragile. Eventually, you may have to cope with a catastrophic injury or serious illness. If your condition makes it difficult or impossible to communicate your medical wishes, you may want to have someone to make health care decisions on your behalf.
In North Carolina, you can execute a health care power of attorney. When doing so, you may name a health care agent to advocate for your medical interests. Choosing the right health care agent is not a task you should take lightly, though. Here are three questions you may want to ask anyone you are considering choosing to be your health care agent.
1. Do you understand my wishes?
You may have strong convictions about medical treatments, end-of-life care and other similar matters. If your health care agent does not understand your wishes, he or she may not be able to make the right decisions about your medical care. The same may be true if the individual disagrees with your wishes.
2. Can you withstand the pressure?
Your doctors, relatives, friends or others may disagree with your health care goals. If anyone pushes back, your health care agent must not back down. Consequently, you may want to explore whether prospective health care agents have the fortitude to withstand the pressure they may face.
3. Are you available?
While it may not be necessary to choose a health care agent who lives near you, your agent should be available to make medical decisions for you. If a potential agent is difficult to reach or too busy to respond, he or she may not be a good fit.
With some effort, you can choose the perfect health care agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. Nevertheless, because your goals may change over time, you should plan to review and update your health care power of attorney regularly.