In Massachusetts, it is very important to have a Health Care Proxy in place, and most hospitals require you to have one. A Health Care Proxy allows you to designate an agent (usually a family member or trusted friend) who will carry out your wishes for care if you become ill and are unable to make or communicate decisions for yourself. It is extremely important that you choose someone carefully as they will be making important decisions  on your behalf. It is also important that you discuss your desires about your medical care; including resuscitation, intubation, intravenous nutrition, hydration and your feelings about quality of life with your agent.  People are living longer and medical technology is evolving making it even more important your “end of life” decisions are expressed. The Health Care Proxy is an essential tool to ensure to your wishes are honored.

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