If you are a California resident who feels strongly about the type and quantity of medical care you receive, you may wish to consider executing a medical power of attorney that will give someone else the power to make medical care decisions for you if and when you are unable to make them for yourself. Aging Options explains that while your appointed representative can go by a variety of names, such as your health care agent, surrogate or attorney in fact, he or she will be charged with making your medical care decisions in the event a physician determines that you do not understand the decisions you must make and/or that you cannot communicate those decisions.
It is crucial that you name someone as your health care agent who you trust implicitly and who knows and agrees with your desires regarding such health care issues as the following:
- Which, if any, life support systems and/or life-sustaining treatments you wish
- Which, if any, anatomical gifts you want to make
- Whether or not you want an autopsy performed after your death
- How you wish to have your body disposed of after your death
- Who should have complete access to your medical records