A Massachusetts Health-Care Proxy is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person to make medical decisions in the event that you are unable.  The person you appoint is called your Health-care agent.

Massachusetts Health-Care Proxy Law

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 201D governs the drafting, execution, application, and enforcement of Massachusetts Health-care Proxies.

Requirements of a MA Health-Care Proxy

To be a binding MA Health-Care Proxy it must be in writing.  A MA Health-Care Proxy must be signed in the presence of two adult witnesses.  Those witnesses must affirm that you: are over 18 years-old, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.

Under MGL ch. 201D, it is presumed that every adult is competent and every health care proxy is presumed to be properly executed unless a court determines otherwise.

When is a MA Health Care Proxy Triggered?

A well drafted health-care proxy is triggered when you are incapable of giving health-care instructions to medical professionals. Such a determination is made by the attending physician.  The attending physicians determination must be in writing, in your medical record, and made in accordance with accepted standards of medical judgment.

What is the Authority of your Health-care Agent?

If desired, a Health-Care Proxy will permit your health-care agent to make medical decision on your behalf.  These decisions can include to order the withdrawal of treatment that can keep you alive. It is important to speak with your  health-care agent and express what is important to you. Your Health-Care proxy will instruct your Health-care agent to make decisions after talking with your doctors.  Your Health-care agent must consider all of your options regarding treatment, diagnosis, chance of recovery, and prognosis. A Health care proxy will order your Health-care agent to take into account your wishes, which should be enumerated in the health care proxy itself.

A properly drafted Massachusetts health-care proxy should include a valid medical release that will enable your health care agent to request and review all of your medical records top assist in the decision making process.

Health-Care Agents decisions are binding.

It is important to remember that your health care agent’s decisions will have the same authority as your and will be honored over those of any other person subject to any limitations you may impose.

A Health-care proxy should be part of your basic Estate plan.  It will will ensure that your family and friends know your wishes and desires are being carried out during a difficult time.  This will avoid family stress, arguments and costly court battles.

For more advice or help with a Massachusetts Health-care Proxy call Attorney John Martino, or The Martino Law Group, LLC today. We are here to help!