Lung Cancer Healthcare Proxy Tips
Last updated: October 2022
It all happened in a flash...a visit to the emergency room led to a stay that would be unimaginable. I totally get why people are so scared of going to the hospital when sick because that fear of never leaving is so deep-rooted and can be truthful depending on what is going on. I’m sure many people are thinking about details that, well, maybe should have been addressed prior to an impromptu visit.
So what can and should happen when you’re in a situation where the moving parts are moving ahead and true reality is ahead? Take a quick moment to close your eyes, pray and move forward.
Making connections for support
A social worker should come about at some point when being admitted but that is not always the case. It’s always a good idea when available to have someone come with you when you go in for your appointments especially when you’re feeling more ill.
In the case, you find yourself in a situation that requires assistance in how you move forward in making decisions this is where the healthcare proxy falls into place. I wanted to stress the importance of a social worker as this person if appropriately used can be an important key contact that can help if you find yourself in a bind with:
- Follow-up with recovery
- Assist with affording medication
- Referral to various resources
What is a proxy?
According to the CDC, a healthcare proxy is a "designated individual legally empowered to make decisions related to the health care of an individual (the declarant) in the event that he or she is unable to do so."1
A proxy is an important partner to speak in your regard with an understanding of your wishes, in case you can’t fully articulate in real time what you want. The proxy agent is an important role and should be appointed to someone you hold near and dear, and one you fully trust with your life.
I remember when my mother was in a situation to sign these forms, it was a lot for me to go down this road with her, as everything took place too quickly. Look, no one wants to speak for another individual, or you may want to verbally make all the calls; however, when you’re terribly ill, and the wheels get to turning, you want that proxy to lean in on with those huge worries on the next steps when it comes to your care. The role of the proxy is also important if you have a family where everyone may not agree and everyone wants a handle on what is going on, in case your care hits a bump in the road. It is an important and trusted role that should not be taken lightly.
Nuts and bolts about healthcare proxy
There are some details on this proxy form that are important to note.
This is a stage where you’re in sound mind to make the decisions and how you make those decisions to appoint your healthcare proxy, there is no need for a lawyer. As you move forward you want someone of age – 18 years and older to make the call in your care.
The role usually becomes effective when the doctor alerts that the patient cannot make their own healthcare decisions. The decisions to be made are huge and can include anything from changing course in treatment that includes feeding tubes and such, and again this person is making decisions based on your wish prior to a compromised situation. There may be some state rules as to what and what not is expected and included but to be noted anything that is not a health care matter, is not included in this proxy.
The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile...when you feel like it.
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?