A health care agent is a person chosen to make medical decisions
for another, should a severe illness or injury occur that makes communication
impossible. The document that grants this decision-making power to the person
selected is called a medical power of attorney.
A health care agent may also be called a health care proxy or
surrogate or an attorney-in-fact.
Although laws vary by state, a health care agent can usually make
medical treatment decisions at the end of life or anytime a person is not able
to communicate. As soon as a person selects a health care agent, it is
important to thoroughly discuss and document medical care preferences, such as
when to continue or abandon life-support measures.
December 29, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Shelly R. Garone, MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
We are happy to take your appointment request over the phone, or, you may fill out an online request form.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.