While it may be unpleasant to think about, there might come a time when you’re unable to make medical decisions for yourself. A power of attorney is crucial in this case, as this person will be your advocate to medical staff and even family members, who might not agree with your wishes regarding end-of-life care. Very Well Health explains what to look for when choosing a power of attorney so you can rest assured that you made the right decision.
First and foremost, you should have a great deal of trust in this person. This is why many people choose a family member or close friend. Being a medical advocate is a huge responsibility, and unfortunately, not all people are up to the task. When considering prospective choices, be honest with yourself about whether the person is willing and able to fulfill all duties. Being a power of attorney can be intimidating in some aspects, especially when it comes to dealing with medical staff.
This is another important consideration to make. Is the person able to be assertive when speaking with doctors and nurses? Will he or she feel comfortable asking questions or seeking clarifications when emergency care is being provided? In some case, decisions will need to be made quickly, which only increases the level of stress your power of attorney experiences. As a result, it’s vital that the person possesses some level of resolve when taking on these important duties.
While it’s more of a practical concern, you should also choose someone that lives relatively close to you. When you choose a person that lives out of state, there could be difficulties in terms of travel. Keep in mind that medical staff will need to make rapid decisions when it comes to an emergency medical situation, and your selection must be accessible to ensure he or she can serve as your advocate when necessary.