Font Size
A
A
A
...
5
...

Advance Directives (cont.)

A Health Care Surrogate

You can select just about any adult to be your attorney-in-fact (surrogate). Select someone who is aware of your wishes and values and whom you trust will be able to make the decisions (regardless of how difficult) at a time when needed. You should discuss all your wishes with your surrogate and be certain that they clearly understand what you desire. Be sure they are willing to accept this responsibility.

You can select a spouse, adult child or sibling, or even a close friend. You should not select your doctor, your doctor's employees, or any staff of a facility where you live (such as a nursing home, hospice, or assisted living facility) because of a possible conflict of interest regarding the type of care you would or would not receive.

  • The surrogate can only make decisions for you when you are temporarily or permanently unable to make your own health care decisions. As long as you have the ability to make your own decisions, you retain the right to do so. If you are temporarily unable to make decisions and then regain the ability to do so, then your surrogate no longer has decision-making capability.
  • An attorney-in-fact (surrogate) can make just about any treatment or procedure decision that is consistent with accepted medical practice and consistent with your wishes. Some states have restrictions in which a surrogate cannot make decisions regarding experimental treatment, sterilization, abortion, or electroshock therapy.
  • You should only appoint one person to be your surrogate, but others may be selected to serve as alternates in the event the person you have chosen is unavailable or unable to make decisions.
  • Surrogates cannot be held liable for decisions made regarding your care or for costs associated with medical care.

Must Read Articles Related to Advance Directives

End-of-Life Decision Making
End-of-Life Decision Making End-of-life decision making typically involves creating two documents: an advance directive and a durable power of attorney for medical care.learn more >>
Hospital Admissions
Hospital Admissions Hospital admissions information about going to the hospital, being admitted to the hospital, types of admissions, the admission process, your rights as a patien...learn more >>
Informed Consent
Informed Consent Doctors will give you information about a particular treatment or test in order for you to decide whether or not you wish to undergo such treatment or test. Thi...learn more >>


NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) »

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consists of chest compressions and artificial ventilation used to maintain circulatory flow and oxygenation during cardiac arrest.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary