Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy is also an advance directive, but unlike a living will, it does not express your wishes concerning medical care or end-of-life decisions. Instead, it allows you to designate another person, called the agent or proxy, to make health care decisions when you are unable to do so. Some state laws refer to documents that appoint a proxy as durable powers of attorney for health care, while others call them health care proxies.
Having both a living will and a health care proxy will resolve issues that can arise when a person has only one of the advance directives. A living will may not address all possible treatments or procedures that doctors consider necessary, but the agent or proxy could make the decision based on what she knows to be the beliefs and preferences of the patient. Having both documents would also help where the agent is not present or, though available, is unsure about what the patient would want in a given situation. Either the doctors or, if one is present, the agent could refer to the living will for guidance.
Why do you need a living will and durable power of attorney for health care in Nevada?
If you become unable to direct your own medical care because of illness, an accident, or advanced age, the right legal documents are your lifeline. When you don’t write down your wishes about the kinds of medical treatment you want and name someone you trust to oversee your care, these important matters can be placed in the hands of estranged family members, doctors, or sometimes even judges, who may know very little about what you would prefer.
What are health care forms called in Nevada?
There are two basic kinds of health care documents that everyone should make. First, you’ll need a document naming a trusted person to direct your health care if you are unable to do so yourself. In Nevada, the official name for this form is a durable power of attorney for health care decisions.
Second, you should make a document setting out the types of medical treatment you would or would not like to receive in certain situations. This document is usually known as a living will. In Nevada, this form is sometimes called a declaration.
Who makes health care decisions for me in Nevada?
In Nevada, the person you name to make decisions for you is called your agent. Most people name a spouse, partner, relative, or close friend as their agent. Under Nevada law, your agent may not be:
your health care provider
an employee of your health care provider
an operator of a health care facility, or
an employee of a health care facility.
These restrictions do not apply to your spouse, legal guardian, or next of kin.
What else do I need to know about choosing an agent in Nevada?
When choosing your agent, the most crucial criteria are trustworthiness and dependability. You might also want to choose someone you think will be good at asserting your health care wishes if others argue against them — that is, someone who is persistent or calm under pressure.
While you need not name someone who lives in Nevada, the person you name should at least be willing and able to travel to your bedside if necessary.
Your agent will begin to make health care decisions for you when you lack the capacity to do so.