In the field of medicine, a healthcare proxy is a document with which a patient appoints an agent to legally make healthcare decisions on behalf of the patient, when the patient is incapable of making and executing the healthcare decisions stipulated in the proxy. A health care proxy is a document that names someone you trust as your proxy, or agent, to express your wishes and make health care decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. A doctor may have to certify that you are incapacitated before your proxy starts making decisions for you. Many people do not have a health care proxy in place, and this is a problem when there comes a time they wish to have someone speak on their behalf. Many college students that are no longer minors, away in a dorm, end up in a hospital for one reason or another. The student often doesn’t have a health care proxy drafted for a parent or guardian to communicate with the hospital. The health care proxy allows you to specify who can make important medical decisions. This is not to be confused with a living will which allows you to list medical treatments that you would want (or would not want) if you became terminally ill and unable to make your own decisions.
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