Imagine you’re driving to work and glance away for just one second and in that time, another distracted driver hits your car. You are unconscious and critically injured. At the Emergency Department, no one knows your wishes and you can’t tell them.
Sound far fetched? It can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. That’s why is it critical for every adult 18 years and older to have a person. Your Health Care Agent. This is the person that you designate to speak for you when you cannot.
If you’re young and healthy, simply completing the “Appointing Your Health Care Agent” form and sending it to the online registry will do the trick.
If you’re a little older, or have chronic health conditions, completing a full Advance Directive will give you a chance to tell more of your wishes in detail.
The important thing is to get this done!
Here are the steps to follow:
- Get a copy of the form. You can download one here to name your agent. Use this form if you want to go into more detail.
- Choose someone to be your agent. This can be a family member, spouse, friend – anyone you trust to speak for you.
- Talk with your agent about your wishes so they understand what you want and agree to follow your wishes.
- Complete your form and have it witnessed by two people who are not your relatives or your agent.
- Make copies for yourself, your agent, family members, and your health care providers.
- Complete the registry form and send it in with your Advance Directive so that your wishes can be accessed online anywhere.
Once you have registered your Advance Directive, in a few weeks you will receive a card for your wallet and a sticker that you can put on your drivers license.
If you want more information on how to choose your agent, overcoming objections, and other topics, check out our Conversation Guide. You can also get more information at the Start the Conversation website and from the Vermont Ethics Network.
April 16 is National Health Care Decision Day. #NHCDD. Make this your deadline. Get it done before you are faced with a healthcare crisis. It is a gift to your family, who otherwise could be faced with difficult decisions. Do it for them. #WhosYourPerson802