Health Care Agent (a.k.a. “health care proxy,” “health care surrogate,” “health care agent” or “health care power of attorney”):

A health care agent is a trusted person, officially appointed in a durable power of attorney for health care, who speaks on behalf of a person 18 years of age or older who is unable to make or communicate health care decisions. The agent is called upon only if the doctor determines that a patient lacks capacity to make health care decisions. Unless otherwise limited by the person, the agent has all the rights that the patient has with regard to medical decision making, including the rights to refuse treatment, agree to treatment or have treatment withdrawn. A health care agent’s decisions should be made based on the patient’s stated wishes, if known; or if unknown, an interpretation of what the patient would have wanted; or finally, an assessment of the patient’s best interest.

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