Patient Advocate Lawyer in Ann Arbor, MI
Have you ever wondered who would make medical decisions for you if you were unable to make them yourself? When you designate a patient advocate, you don’t have to wonder — you can know for sure that a trusted person will make your healthcare decisions.
At Bassett Murray Law Group, we can help you designate a patient advocate and find peace of mind about your medical care. Contact us today at 734-930-9200 to schedule your consultation with our estate planning attorneys in Ann Arbor, MI.
What Is a Patient Advocate?
A patient advocate is a person with the legal right to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to make them yourself. This person can step into their role if you become incapacitated or are unconscious when critical medical decisions arise.
A patient advocate is also known by the following terms:
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Healthcare proxy
- Durable power of attorney for healthcare
- Advanced directive
This person is legally able to make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to dictate them. For instance, if a doctor puts you on life support, your patient advocate could decide whether to keep you on these life-saving treatments or let you go.
They can also make smaller decisions regarding your medical treatment, such as which medications to try. If you had written any instructions for your medical care in your estate planning documents (Living Will), your patient advocate will refer to these instructions to ensure that your care reflects your wishes.
A patient advocate legally cannot:
- Condone, permit, or authorize suicide or homicide
- Made a life-ending decision if you are pregnant
- Transfer your powers to another person without your authorization
Who Needs a Patient Advocate?
At Bassett Murray Law Group, we recommend that all of our estate planning clients create a patient advocate designation. These designations are not only for people with imminent health concerns. Anyone over the age of 18 should have these documents in place. They should be reviewed every 3-5 years.
Unfortunately, you never know when your health may take a turn for the worse. Without a patient advocate designation, the court may appoint someone to this role for you, potentially choosing a person you wouldn’t have chosen yourself.
Even if you do not require medical treatment currently, you probably will at some point before the end of your life. Establishing a patient advocate designation now can help you prepare for the possibility you will need one.
Appointing Your Patient Advocate
You can designate any person who is 18 or older and of sound mind as your patient advocate. For this designation to be valid, you must write, sign, and execute your designation with two witnesses present.
We recommend thinking carefully about who to assign to this role. You should choose someone who:
- Has a base-level knowledge of medical care
- Has similar values to your own
- Understands your wants and needs and will advocate for your wishes
- Will naturally act in your best interest
Contact Our Estate Planning Attorneys Today
If you’re thinking of appointing a patient advocate, our estate planning attorneys can help. Contact our Bassett Murray Law Group in Ann Arbor, MI, today at 734-930-9200 to schedule your patient advocate consultation.
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