A designation of healthcare surrogate (also known as a medical power of attorney or healthcare proxy) allows a person (the “principal”) to appoint another competent person age 18 years or older (the “surrogate”) to make health care judgments if he or she is unable to communicate their healthcare wishes to their health care providers due to injury or illness. It is a good idea to name an alternate surrogate. Your surrogate form should also contain a HIPAA release which gives permission to your medical providers to release confidential information to your authorized surrogates.
The requirements for a valid designation of health care surrogate include:
- Must be signed and dated by the principal (18 years or older or emancipated minor)
- Must be witnessed by two adults, neither of whom can be the designated surrogate, and at least one of whom cannot be the spouse or blood relative of the principal
Healthcare Surrogate For A Minor Child
A healthcare surrogate for minor child is similar to a power of attorney for minor child, except that the delegation of authority is generally limited to decisions regarding medical care.
These forms are often used in the case of military parents, when the minor child is traveling without either parent, when the minor child is staying with relatives or friends, or when the parent(s) are going out of town for an extended period of time. It is important that the parent provide the person named as the agent in the power of attorney or as the health care surrogate with a copy of the signed document, as well as a copy of the minor’s birth certificate and insurance cards.
These forms should also contain a HIPAA release. This gives permission to your child(ren)’s medical providers to release confidential information to your authorized surrogates.