Is it time to review your health care surrogate designation?

Designating a person to act as your health care surrogate is one of the more effective ways to retain control over your own medical care. After all, a day may come when an illness or injury makes it impossible for you to make informed medical decisions.  

While choosing your health care surrogate is a major part of your planning process, life events may make your designation impractical or downright wrong. Answering the following questions may tell you whether it is time to review your health care surrogate designation. 

Do you have a new significant other?

Often, married individuals and those in long-term relationships select their romantic partners to be their health care surrogates. Meaningful relationships sometimes do not last forever, though. If you have a new significant other in your life, you may want to rethink your health care surrogate designation.  

Has your health taken a turn?

When you are healthy, end-of-life care, resuscitation and invasive medical procedures can be abstract concepts. If you have recently received a life-altering diagnosis or sustained a serious injury, your thoughts about these matters may have changed significantly. Put simply, if your current health care surrogate disagrees with your care preferences or refuses to honor them, you probably need a different one. 

Are you refusing to take the hint?

Just as your views may change over time, your health care surrogate may no longer see medical matters the same as you do. If your health care surrogate disagrees with you, he or she may be trying subtly to tell you to find someone new.  

You should be able to count on your health care surrogate to fight for what you want. Ultimately, if you have any information this may not happen, spending some time reviewing your designation may put your mind at ease.  

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