Who can serve as my Agent?

You may appoint almost any adult to be your Agent. You should select a person knowledgeable about your wishes, values, religious beliefs, in whom you have trust and confidence and who knows how you feel about health care. You may select a member of your family, such as your spouse, child, brother or sister, or a close friend. If you select your spouse and the marriage is later dissolved or annulled, the HCP is revoked.

When will my HCP become effective?

The Health Care Proxy (HCP) only becomes effective when a determination is made by your attending physician that you lack capacity to make or to communicate health care decisions and your Agent consents to start making those decisions.

What if I don’t agree with a decision made by my Agent?

Even if your doctor has determined that you lack the capacity to make or to communicate a health care decision, if you object to a health care decision made by your Agent under the HCP, then your decision will prevail, unless a court finds that you lack the capacity to make or to communicate health care decisions.

What happens when I no longer need my Agent to make decisions about my health care?

If your doctor determines that you have regained the capacity to make or to communicate health care decisions, then two things will happen:

  1. Your Agent’s authority will end; and
  2. Your consent will be required for treatment.

How can I revoke my HCP?

You may revoke the HCP at any time by notifying your Agent and health care provider orally or in writing, or by any other act showing that you specifically intend to revoke it. The HCP will also be revoked if:

  1. You execute a later HCP; or
  2. Your are divorced or legally separated and your spouse was also appointed as your Agent.

Making Medical Decisions For Someone Else: A How-To Guide