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End-of-Life Decision Making (cont.)

Appoint a Decision Maker

Who should be your designated health care decision maker?

In a document separate from your advance directive, name a particular person to be your health care decision maker. Name an alternate in case the first person named is unable to be your health care surrogate when the time comes.

  • That document is called a Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Care. It will be your best protection when it comes to implementing your wishes during a difficult time.
  • The document naming a health care agent is particularly important if you'd prefer a nonrelative to make your health care decisions for you. If you don't name a nonrelative, the hospital will usually seek out the closest relative or the courts will name a relative if there's one available. This might not be the person you would like as a decision maker.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2015

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