Expats in Panama need to consider how crucial it is to have a medical proxy to anticipate the possibility of incapacitation and the inability to make medical choices. In Panama, both medical proxies and medical wishes hold legal recognition. It is essential to have both documents in place, as they serve distinct purposes.
The medical proxy is a legally binding document, granting someone else the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. These decisions encompass explicit instructions about treatment options, medications, end-of-life care, the scope of decisions they can make, and the conditions under which they can commence decision-making. The individual you designate as your healthcare agent should be a trusted person who possesses familiarity with your medical history.
Panama regulations for a Medical Proxy
The laws governing a medical proxy in Panama are complex and can vary depending on the specific circumstances.
However, in general, this power must be in writing and signed by both the principal (the person who is granting the power) and the agent (the person who is being appointed to make decisions). The document must also be witnessed by two people who are not related to either the principal or the agent.
Tips for creating a Medical Proxy in Panama
- Make sure that the document is specific and includes your wishes for all aspects of your medical care.
- Choose an agent who you trust and who is familiar with your medical history.
- Review the document with your agent and make sure that they understand your wishes.
- Keep the document in a safe place where your loved ones can find it if you become incapacitated.
How do I get a Medical Proxy in Panama?
- Be at least 18 years old
- Sign the proxy in front of a notary
*Although not a requirement, the notary may ask for a certificate of good health for the elderly.
Information the Medical Proxy should include:
- Your name and address
- Your agent’s identification details
- The name and address of your agent
- The powers you are granting to your agent
- The date the proxy takes effect
- Your signature and the signature of your notary
The powers you grant to your agent should be specific and should include all aspects of your medical care. For example, you may want to give your agent the power to make decisions about your treatment, your medications, and your end-of-life care.
What are the benefits of having a Medical Proxy in Panama?
- Ensures your preferences: Having a medical proxy can provide assurance that your preferences and desires will be honored in the event of incapacitation, ensuring that your medical decisions align with your wishes.
- Avoidance of conflict among your loved ones: About your medical care. If you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions, your agent will be able to make decisions on your behalf according to your wishes. This can help to prevent your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf.
- Efficiency: This document expedites access to necessary medical care when you are unable to make decisions independently. Whether you are admitted to a hospital or another healthcare facility, your appointed agent can swiftly navigate the decision making process on your behalf, ensuring prompt and appropriate medical attention.
What are the risks of not having a Medical Proxy in Panama?
- Failure to have a medical proxy could lead to unfulfilled wishes
In the event of your incapacitation the responsibility of making critical medical decisions will fall upon a court appointed guardian. This process can be protracted, costly, and may not align with your desired outcome.
- Your loved ones may find themselves in the midst of challenging decision making
They may be forced to make difficult decisions about your medical care, such as whether to continue life-prolonging treatment or to withdraw care. This can be a very stressful and emotional experience for your loved ones.
- Access to necessary medical care could be hindered
If you become incapacitated and do not have this power, you may not be able to get the medical care you need. This is because hospitals and other medical providers may be reluctant to provide care without the consent of a legal guardian.
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- Medical Proxy
- Additional services, when applicable, which are charged separately
- Certificate of Good Mental Health
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If you are considering creating a medical proxy, it is important to work with a Patrimonial and Medical Law attorney who can help you understand your options and create documents that meet your specific needs.
If you are interested in learning more about this process, or if you would like to speak with a patrimonial and medical law attorney, please Contact us or send us a note to email@example.com.
We also invite you to read our FAQs if you still have questions about Medical Proxy and Patrimonial and Medical Law.