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Why choosing a medical decision maker is important

Choosing a medical power of attorney (also known as a healthcare proxy or healthcare power of attorney) is an important step in ensuring that your healthcare wishes are respected in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. Without a medical power of attorney, your loved ones may be left to make difficult decisions about your care without knowing your preferences.

For example, imagine a scenario where you are in a serious accident and unable to communicate your wishes for your medical care. Without a medical power of attorney, your family members may have to go to court to have someone appointed to make healthcare decisions for you, which can be a time-consuming and emotionally draining process. They may also struggle to make decisions that align with your values and beliefs without guidance from you.

Or imagine another scenario, where you have a debilitating illness and are unable to communicate your wishes for end-of-life care. Without a medical power of attorney and advanced care preferences, your loved ones may be left to make difficult decisions about your care, such as whether or not to remove life support, without knowing your preferences. This can be an incredibly difficult and traumatic experience for them.

These are just a couple of examples of how not having a medical power of attorney can lead to additional stress and heartache for you and your loved ones during an already difficult time. Appointing a medical power of attorney and creating advanced care preferences documents can provide peace of mind for everyone involved, knowing that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are comfortable and confident in the decisions that are made on your behalf.

When choosing a medical power of attorney, it's important to select someone you trust and who understands your values and beliefs regarding healthcare. This person should be a good listener and comfortable discussing sensitive medical topics with you. They should also be willing to advocate for your wishes if the need arises. You should also choose an alternate agent in case the primary agent is unavailable or unable to serve.

Your medical power of attorney will have the authority to make decisions about your medical treatment and care, including decisions related to life support, pain management, and end-of-life care. They will work closely with your healthcare providers to ensure that your care aligns with your values and wishes.

Document your advanced care preferences, such as a living will or other advance directive, that indicate your desired treatments and services in the event that you are terminally ill, permanently unconscious or otherwise near the end of life. (You can do this easily within Addio.) It can be difficult to think about the end of your life, but creating these documents can help ensure that your wishes are respected and can provide comfort and peace of mind to you and your loved ones during a difficult time.

Learn more about how Addio can help you put together these important documents through a free trial.

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Gabe Caldwell
Gabe Caldwell

Gabe Caldwell is an entrepreneur, investor, biohacker and co-founder at Addio. He leads Addio’s partnership efforts and makes sure that families have access to the top experts in Addio’s Expert Network. In his free time, you can find him riding bikes, lifting weights, or playing beach volleyball.

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