Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500,

www.njlaws.com

Friday, October 9, 2015

Health Care Proxy

Health Care Proxy

A "health care proxy," sometimes called a "health care surrogate" or "durable medical power of attorney," is a durable power of attorney specifically designed to cover medical treatment.  You appoint a person and grant to him or her the authority to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to express your preferences about medical treatment. Most commonly, this situation occurs either because you are unconscious or because your mental state is such that you do not have the legal capacity to make your own decisions. As with living wills, depending on your state of residence, the health care proxy may be a standard or statutory form or it may be may be drafted specifically for you by your lawyer.  Normally, one person (not multiple persons to act at one time) is appointed as your health care proxy.  It is quite common, however, for you to appoint one or more alternate persons (successors) in the event your first choice proxy is unavailable. You should confirm prior to appointing someone as your proxy that he or she will in fact be willing and able to carry out your wishes. If your preferred proxy  has, for example, a religious view that prevents him or her from carrying out your wishes, you should name someone else.  As in the case of a living will, medical professionals will make the initial determination as to whether you have the capacity to make your own medical treatment decisions.

Why Have Health Directives?

Regardless of the name your state gives to these documents, their purpose is to allow you to express your preferences concerning medical treatment in an extreme medical situation when you cannot communicate, including at the end of your life. By expressing such preferences in a written legal document, you are ensuring that your preferences are made known. Physicians prefer these documents because they provide a written expression from you as to your medical care and designate for the physician the person he or she should consult concerning unanswered medical questions. Rather than the physician having to obtain a consensus answer from your family as to your treatment, the physician knows your preferences and knows who you want to provide decisions when you cannot do so.  Also, providing such information and designating a health care proxy means that the physician knows whose direction is to be followed in the event your family disagrees as to what medical treatment you would want.
In addition to helping your physician, these documents express your wishes to your family so that they do not have to guess about what you would want.  Making your wishes known in advance prevents family members from making hard choices at what likely will be one of the most stressful times in their lives.
source http://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/living_wills_health_care_proxies_advance_health_care_directives.html