What is a Healthcare Surrogate?

Designating a healthcare surrogate can be a vital step in ensuring that your medical wishes are followed by care providers in the event that you are incapacitated and require medical procedures that a hospital will not perform without obtaining what is referred to as “informed consent.”  These procedures are usually those that are not technically emergency life-saving operations (those will almost certainly be performed by attending physicians as needed unless you have a living will to the contrary), but which may lead to better recovery outcomes in the long term, if successful. 

 

Designating a healthcare surrogate who is local, available, and understands your wishes as to medically invasive procedures, as well as designating a backup surrogate if the primary is unreachable, may mean the difference between timely operations—for example, in the event of a stroke which would otherwise cause irreparable or long-term brain trauma—and emergency care providers simply stabilizing you until a surrogate can be found or appointed by committee or other applicable procedure.

 

 

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