Patient Advocate Designation (MI)
This Patient Advocate Designation (MI) helps individuals select patient advocates (authorized representatives) and provide healthcare instructions upon the individual’s incapacity. A Health Care Proxy (Michigan) is another common term for this document. This Patient Advocate Designation is the Michigan equivalent of the New York Health Care Proxy and Living Will. Likewise, this document is the Michigan equivalent of the New Jersey Advance Health Care Directive. A competent adult residing in Michigan may create a Patient Advocate Designation. This document appoints a third party to serve as a patient advocate in the event of the adult’s incapacity. Additionally, this document provides instructions for health care on the event of incapacity. Having a last will and testament is an important part of family estate planning in Michigan. Likewise, having a patient advocate designation is just as important, especially now due to the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic.
How a Patient Advocate Designation Works
This Patient Advocate Designation refers to the individual making the advance directive as the patient. This document refers to the appointed third party as the patient advocate (commonly known as health care representative or agent). This document helps the patient keep control over health care decisions if incapacitated. It helps by appointing a trusted individual to carry out the patient’s health care wishes. Simultaneously, this document helps the patient by also providing guidance to the patient advocate in fulfilling the patient’s wishes. Third party healthcare providers can then look to the patient advocate, as they would look to a patient with capacity. Then, the advocate could provide authorization and consent to medical procedures and courses of treatment if the patient is incapacitated. Because maintaining control of health care choices is an important issue, individuals include this document in most estate plans.
Patient Advocate Designation Not Required for Care
A patient advocate designation provides needed guidance and instruction regarding a patient’s intentions and desires. However, under Michigan law, a health care provider cannot require a patient to execute a designation as a condition of the patient receiving health treatment or care or having treatment or care withdrawn.
Capacity to Execute a Patient Advocate Designation
To execute a valid patient advocate designation, the patient must be 18 years of age or older. Additionally, the patient must be of sound mind at the time the patient makes the patient advocate designation. Thus, the patient must be mentally competent to consent to, have some control over, and appreciate the significance and consequences of the resulting agency relationship. However, some patients are legally incapacitated and have an appointed guardian make medical or mental health treatment decisions for them. These patients cannot execute a patient advocate designation.
Patient Advocate Designation Effective Only on Incapacity
The patient advocate designation must include a statement that the patient advocate may exercise authority under the document only when the patient cannot participate in medical or mental health treatment decisions.