Choosing those you trust to make decisions about your care
At Novant Health, we care about you. We believe that healthcare is a partnership between you and your healthcare providers. We also understand the importance of involving loved ones in your care. Choices and Champions gives you the opportunity to tell us who you want to help champion your medical care.
A champion is someone who stands up for and supports another person. There are many types of champions who take care of us when we are sick. For example, family and friends who drive us to our appointments, bring us food and keep us company in times of need are champions. So are our doctors and nurses. There are also champions we trust to make medical decisions for us when we are not able to make or declare our wishes ourselves.
Selecting your medical champion
If you are ever unable to make your own medical decisions, your doctor will need a champion to speak for you. Ideally this should be someone who knows you well and understands your health goals. In addition, this person should:
- Know about your health condition, symptoms and medical history
- Pay attention to all important facts and details when making decisions, and be available to help follow up with treatment plans
- Understand his or her duties, and be seriously committed to fulfilling them
- Work well with others who may be involved in your life and care
- Be trusted to do his or her best to honor your wishes
- Respect your beliefs and values, even if they differ from his or her own
- Be willing to stand up for your rights
- Be available when needed
Once you've decided who you trust to make decisions for you, we encourage you to name this person as your health care agent using a Health Care Power of Attorney form.
A health care agent has the legal authority to make decisions for you if you cannot. Without this legal authority, the person you’ve picked to be your champion may not be recognized as your decision maker. That’s because, legally, any medical decisions would be made by only those family members or other individuals determined by state law. By choosing your champion and designating him or her as your health care agent in advance, you get to decide who makes decisions for you, not the state. In addition,
a health care agent can more easily obtain medical record information and sign documents needed for
treatment and placement.
Before formally naming a champion health care agent, be sure that person understands what the roles and responsibilities would be.