Here in Massachusetts, I think we’re all relieved that the curve is flattening. Through decisive leadership and a commitment to one another, we’ve managed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But we’re not out of the woods yet. It’s still critical to prepare for a medical emergency, whether related to the coronavirus or otherwise. Everyone over the age of 18 should have three essential documents in place to ensure that medical decisions can be made for them in the event of their incapacity. These documents are a Health Care Proxy, HIPAA Waiver, and Living Will.
Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Proxy allows the principal (i.e. the client) to name the people she would like to make heath care decisions for her in event that she becomes incapacitated and unable to communicate. It is important to name multiple health care agent to act in succession in case the primary agent is unavailable at the time of the crisis.
A HIPPA Waiver ensures that the client’s Health Care Agent has the ability to receive medical information about her. Without this waiver, medical professionals are preempted from sharing medical information with anyone who is not the patient or the patient’s legal guardian.
A Living Will is a non-binding declaration of wishes that directs the client’s Health Care Agent in the event that she is in a terminal or persistent vegetative state with no reasonable prospect of recovery.
Losing the ability to communicate with health care professionals is a complicating factor in every health emergency that can be avoided by preparation. To learn more about these critical health care documents, check out the video blog below.
If you need a Health Care Proxy, HIPAA Waiver, and Living Will, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.