Health Care Proxy
What is a Health Care Proxy?
As a competent adult, starting at 18 years old, you have the right to direct your health care choices and make your own health care plan. A good place to start to make your plan is to choose a trusted person called a Health Care Agent or “Agent”. An Agent is your advocate with the power to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions yourself. You appoint an Agent in a legal document called a Health Care Proxy.
Here's how it works —
- Accidents and illness can happen any time, at any age
- An Agent is your advocate who steps in to make health care decisions to get you the care you want if you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself, even for a short time, while you recover
- Your Agent has the legal power to speak to your doctors about your condition and treatment options, look at your medical records, and make health care decisions to get you the best possible care that aligns with your goals, values and choices
- In Massachusetts, a spouse, family or friend does not automatically have the legal authority to make health decisions on your behalf unless appointed in a Health Care Proxy.
- You can do-it-yourself or complete with an attorney
Create Your Own Health Care Proxy
- Take a minute to review the informational fact sheets in the blue boxes below
- Download a free Health Care Proxy Instructions & Document in English or 9 other languages; OR
- Download the Getting Started Tool Kit which contains the Health Care Proxy, Personal Directive and discussion guides.
Information and Tools
View informational fact sheets and download free documents and tools in the boxes below.
Did You Know?
A Health Care Agent is the person you choose to be your advocate.
A Health Care Proxy is the document where you appoint your Health Care Agent.
Did You Know?
A spouse or family member does NOT automatically have the legal authority to make decisions for you, unless appointed in a Health Care Proxy.