Designation of Healthcare Surrogate

Designation of Healthcare Surrogate

What is a designation of healthcare surrogate? Isn’t this the same thing as a living will? No, while similar they often get confused. A living will designate’ what decision should be made and by who in the specific circumstance that you should end up in a situation where you are receiving a life-prolonging treatment or in a state where you are not able to make decisions for yourself and what should be done. A health care surrogate allows you to appoint an individual to make health care decisions on your behalf should a circumstance arise that you cannot.

The designation of healthcare surrogate has a broader scope for which they are able to act on your behalf. They aren’t necessarily limited to the specific unique circumstances you might outline in a living will. They grant the ability for split decisions to be made at the moment they need to be made. Where without one doctor may need to prolong treatment to make sure that you are able to express your wishes to them, or there is confusion as to what should be done in the circumstance of an emergency. This is a great tool to have so that you make sure that the person you trust makes decisions for you and can act on your behalf.

  •  Broader in scope than a living will;
  •  Only effective during a period in which you are not able to act or speak on your own behalf, after recovery it is not effective;
  • Able to appoint alternative selections, so if your designation is unavailable there is still someone there that can act on your behalf;
  • Still should discuss with your surrogates your wishes. to ensure it is very clear as to what your wishes are, and they can act in accordance with your wishes;
  • Can be revoked or changed at any time.

It is very important to designate someone as your healthcare surrogate. If you do not have the document, and you become incapacitated (you are unable to speak for yourself), your family will have to ask the court for a Guardian to be appointed. The process for a Guardian to be appointed can be a long and drawn-out process. The person looking to be appointed must have a background check and get fingerprinted. If that person has ever committed a felony, they will not be appointed. By the time someone is appointed, the Guardian may not be needed.

To avoid the Guardian process, all you need is to have a designation of healthcare surrogate. This will allow the doctors to speak with whoever you have appointed. Need this document today? Call us here at Fighter Law.

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