If someone has chosen you to be their Healthcare Proxy (or Spokesperson as many people call it) that simply means that this person trusts that you will and can speak on their behalf in a medical crisis if they cannot themselves.
Being someone’s proxy is an honor and does NOT have to be a burden. In the coming weeks we will dive deeper into what it means to be someone’s proxy and how to effectively speak for your loved one.
Today, we start with the basics:
What does it mean to be a Healthcare Proxy?
Being a Healthcare Proxy means YOU are representing the medical wishes of someone who cannot speak for themselves.
To do this job well, it’s crucial that you understand their values, goals, and preferences – specifically as they relate to medical treatment.
Your job is not to make medical decisions, but rather to express to doctors and other members of the healthcare team what they would want and how they want to be treated.
Why were you asked to be their Healthcare Proxy?
Many programs, like My Living Voice, asks users to choose someone who is a trusted person and willing to speak on their behalf. Someones proxy should also know their values and preferences about medical treatment.
You were chosen as someones proxy because they believed that you were the best choice! They believed you would be available, and would have the judgment and strength to make good decisions, based on their values, during an emotionally trying time. How great is that?!
A good next step? Talk with the person who chose you, so you can be sure what matters most to them and that you feel prepared should that time come.
Are you able to be someone’s Healthcare Proxy?
A good thing to ask yourself is if you are able and willing to be their Healthcare Proxy. There’s no shame in saying you don’t feel comfortable being their proxy, they would most likely welcome the honesty and be in a position to pick someone who can better serve in this important role for them.
To see if you fit the bill to be their Healthcare Proxy, you should be able to:
- Accept the responsibility of speaking for them when they cannot
- Respect their wishes… even when it’s not what you think is best
- Make sure their wishes are followed… even when it’s not what you would want
- Stand by that person… even when the going gets rough
If you choose to honor this person’s wish and be their Healthcare Proxy it is important that you speak with them! Have a shared understanding of what you are able to do and the decisions you may need to make in the case of a medical crisis.
Now that you know what it means to be someone’s Healthcare Proxy do you have one selected for yourself? Need help? We got you covered; check out this blog post for some guidance “Our Easy 3 Step Guide to Selecting a Healthcare Proxy”