What is a Health Care Agent?
A Health Care Agent makes health care choices for someone who is not able because he or she is too ill. A member of your family, loved one, or friend would like you to be his or her Health Care Agent. In Ohio, the Health Care Agent’s name is written in a legal form called a Healthcare Power of Attorney.
Would you like to learn more about what a Health Care Agent does? If so, you can meet with your loved one and one of trained Facilitators.
How can I find out more about a Health Care Agent?
You can do this by meeting with your loved one and one of our staff members for a Decide to be Heard meeting. A Decide to be Heard meeting lets you know what health care choices he or she would like in the future and ask questions.
When thinking about your role as a Health Care Agent, you should be able to answer “Yes” to the following questions.
- Am I willing to take on this role and duty?
- Do I know what this person would want for future medical care?
- Can I make the choices he or she wants me to make, even if I do not agree with the choices?
- Am I able to make hard health care choices under stress?
You need to talk with your loved one if you answered “No” to any of these questions.
What should a Health Care Agent know?
During the Decide to be Heard meeting you will find out what is important to your loved one, such as:
- What he or she feels is important for him or her to live well.
- When life would not be worth living.
It is important for you to listen closely to his or her answers so you know what your loved one values. Feel free to ask questions so you understand what your loved one really wants.
What Choices does a HealthCare Agent make?
Here are some examples that you may face:
- Choosing health care and procedures, such as tests, medicine, and surgery;
- Stopping treatment based on the person’s wishes or what is in the person’s best interest;
- Giving permission to release his or her medical records; or
- Deciding which hospital, nursing home, or health care provider should provide care.
Greater Dayton Advance Care Planning Initiative
241 Taylor St., Suite 130, Dayton, OH 45402
Staff: Sarah Hackenbracht
firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 701-0076