National Center for Ethics in Health Care
SoundEthics in Health Care
Identifying the Patient’s Authorized Surrogate: Close Friends as Surrogate Decision-Makers (6:12)
The surrogate decision-maker is the person authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of a patient who no longer has decision-making capacity. This podcast reviews the hierarchy of surrogates in VA, discusses the documentation requirements that must be followed in order to establish a close friend as the surrogate, and examines the implications for same-sex married and unmarried couples.
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- List the priority of VA authorized surrogates.
- Describe how a patient names a Health Care Agent.
- Describe the two ways in which a close friend may be named as the patient’s surrogate decision maker.
- Describe the documentation required for naming a close friend as the patient’s surrogate in the absence of an advance directive.
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