There are several documents used during a terminal illness, mental incapacitation, or serious injury leading to the inability to communicate. A written and legal document that states the kind of medical care a patient wishes to receive or not to receive in case they are no longer able to make medical care treatment decisions due to permanent unconsciousness or terminal illness. The living will only apply only when the patient cannot communicate their wishes; that’s the kind of treatment they may wish or never wish to be applied to them to sustain their life, such as usage of the tube for feeding or breathing aid tools. But in the absence of a living will, a close family takes responsibility for treatment decisions since they may be informed about the patient’s desires (Annas, 2011).
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Health Care Proxy is a document containing the name of the person the patient wishes to speak on their behalf in case they are not able to speak for themselves and make their health care decision (Annas, 2011). Someone has to choose a proxy who knows their health record, trustworthiness, religious belief, attitude towards treatment, and caregivers. The legal document that gives one party the capacity and powers to act on behalf of the other party due to disability or illness is known as Durable Power of Attorney, such as settling bills, giving medical care direction, or investment management on their behalf (Annas, 2011). Agent for Health Care is the person responsible for making health care decisions on behalf of someone in case they cannot communicate, such as a tragic accident or injury. The agent should properly know the patient that is knowing the decision they would have made while able to communicate; they must be trusted persons such as a close family member or friend (Annas, 2011).
Annas, G. J. (2011). The health care proxy and the living will. Palliative care: Transforming the care of serious illness, 167-175.