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  • Victoria Goldberg

Health Care Proxy“Have it your way”

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

By Victoria Goldberg, guest blogger



A friend of mine told me he was becoming seriously involved with a woman whom he hoped is "the one" but they live 70 miles apart and neither one wishes to relocate. We spent some time on the logistics of the relationship, and when I asked him if, and when, he might have a medical crisis and need to make a trip to the ER (Emergency Room) did he expect her to make the two-hour trip to be with him as his support and advocate.

A Proxy tells the docs your wishes

At the moment, he and I are, and have been providing, mutual "ER advocate/support". That conversation prompted me to think more deeply on this subject. I have a current Health Care Proxy. It states clearly on paper what I want done for me, and to me, in case of a medical emergency.

What will you do when you need to get to the ER (non super emergency)? You may drive, or someone you know takes you, or you are transported by taxi, or arrive via a 911 call with EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians).

Who advocates for you?

In either case you need someone you know and who knows you, and also knows your wishes, to be there in the ER with you. Someone who has a copy of your Proxy and knows your wishes, You need an advocate. Someone who speaks for you, when and if you can’t speak for yourself. Repeat that: you need an advocate.

No attorney required

Most people show up in the ER without a Proxy. This is a simple to construct document. You do not need a lawyer to prepare one, though employing legal help might make you feel more comfortable.Go online, print it out, fill it out and share that you have done this with the people in your life. In this way everyone. knows what you want. I stress, what you want.You can't predict your ETA (estimated time of arrival) but you can pick your landing.

NO Proxy…docs decide!

All well and good. If you arrive at the ER without the Proxy and If you are alert you can make your wishes known. If not , the admitting physician is mandated by law to keep you alive by whatever means available until they determine brain death.

A Database solution?

We have come up with a simple solution that to our understanding does not currently exist. We suggest the creation of a database where you can enter your proxy that is available universally to all health care facilities((you do have lives, and you may travel). Perhaps AARP could undertake this project. In addition, make sure that whoever you travel with knows your wishes.

Modifying the Proxy

By the way, as long as you are able to make your own decisions, any time you wish to change any wishes in the Proxy, you may do so. A proxy is not irrevocable. Know however that if you have a Proxy your wishes will be followed. It will be a great comfort knowing that you get the final say


About Victoria Goldberg

Practiced as a registered nurse for 40 years and witnessed many instances of anguish among patients and families that had not prepared a proxy in advance. Devoted time educating people to the value of having a proxy. Benefitting from this experience, my husband and I both prepared proxies in advance. When he was hospitalized his proxy became part of his in-patient record and his treatment plan was unequivocal.

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saaigner
08 abr 2023

Good info. Great Idea, a national database. "Go online, print it out." Good idea. A link to the form to print would be helpful. In this paranthetical, from your article "((you do have lives, and you may travel)" What is it saying?

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