If you have created a health care power of attorney or a health care proxy, taking the time to decide on a responsible agent may require you to look beyond your spouse or close family members. A good health care agent is someone who has particular traits that not everyone possesses. Here are three traits you want your agent to have.
The ability to make levelheaded decisions.
If it ever falls to your health care agent to make medical decisions on your behalf, that agent will likely have to make some difficult choices. The types of choices the agent has to make will greatly impact your life, and may even result in your death. An agent has to be able to objectively evaluate the situation and make a decision that is not only in your best interests, but one that is also in line with your desires.
The ability to stand your ground.
The decisions your health your agent will have to make may not be popular, especially when your friends and family want something different. Your health care agent has a responsibility to do what you ask of him or her, and not to do what is popular or approved of by others. If an agent cannot make a decision and stick by it, you need to look at someone else.
The ability to be there when needed.
If your doctors need to ask your agent to make a medical decision, the agent needs to be reachable. Choosing an agent who travels a lot or who is not readily available is a bad idea.