What is a Health Care Proxy? A health care proxy or durable power of attorney for health care is a legal document that allows a person to appoint someone else (known as a proxy or agent) to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event that they are unable to make decisions for themselves, according to Harry Margolis, author of Get Your Ducks in a Row.
This document is often used in situations where a person becomes incapacitated due to an accident, illness, or other circumstance. The designated health care proxy is authorized to make decisions about medical treatment, as well as other health care matters, based on the individual’s expressed wishes or, if their wishes are not known, in their best interests.
A durable power of attorney for health care is “durable” in that it remains in effect even if the person who created it becomes incapacitated, whereas a regular power of attorney for health care may become invalid in such circumstances.
It is important to note that it is a legal document that must be executed in accordance with state laws, and it may require witnesses and/or notarization. It is also important to choose a proxy who is trustworthy and willing to make difficult decisions based on the individual’s wishes or best interests.