You may have gone to the trouble of making sure all your family members have completed the important documents that they need if they suffer a critical illness or have a terrible accident. But what if they (or you) are traveling and don’t have the appropriate documents with them? These documents include a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, a living will and a DNR ( Do Not Resuscitate) order.
Now there is a solution. It is an Apple or Android app for the smartphone called “My Health Care Wishes”. It was created by the American Bar Association. Your family members don’t even need to have the app or a smartphone themselves as long as you have entered the information on your phone and they carry a wallet card indicating this. The information includes: contact information, summary of healthcare wishes, PDF copies of Advance Directives, Medical information, prescriptions, key medical contacts, healthcare proxy information and more.
Let’s say your Mom lives in San Francisco and has a health care directive with end-of-life decisions. You’re her primary proxy and live in Washington DC. She’s on vacation in Boston and rushed to the ER at Mass General Hospital. A My Health Care Wishes wallet card is found stating her proxy has her advance care plan on his iPhone—that’s you! You’re coaching soccer but with one click you are able to email the documents needed to speak with staff to make key decisions. Crucial moments are saved and you’re there in a way never possible before in a medical crisis.
Another example: Your Dad is 89 and your Mom is, 91. He takes her to the hospital and she’s admitted to the ICU but he’s told he can’t make medical decisions for her even if she is incapacitated. She’s his wife and he’s her proxy. What’s this about? He brought the wrong form with him! He brought the Power of Attorney document (POA) that only applies to financial & legal decisions. The Durable Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) is what he needs but it’s at home and no one else is there. He has a cell phone, calls you, his daughter. You have what he needs securely stored on your Smartphone —the document showing your Dad as primary proxy. A click and the correct document is emailed, and your Dad losing little time tells doctors what his wife of 65 years wants.
The medical community is very complex and filled with rules and disclaimers. If you don’t have access to the right legal documents your life or another family member’s life may be in danger. Get on your computer right now and order “ My Health Care Wishes” from the Apple App Store or Google Play!