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Health care agent

A health care agent is a person you choose to make medical decisions for you if a severe illness or injury makes it impossible for you to speak for yourself. The document that grants this decision-making power to the person you select is called a medical power of attorney.

A health care agent may also be called a health care proxy or health care surrogate. The medical power of attorney may also be called a durable power of attorney for health care. The agent and the document may be called something else in your state.

Laws vary by state. But a health care agent can usually make medical treatment decisions at the end of life or anytime a person is not able to communicate. As soon as you choose a health care agent, it's important to talk about and write down your medical care preferences. For example, you would talk about when to continue or stop life-support measures.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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