It’s a Crisis — Who’s on First?

Choosing a health care agent is an important place to start advance care planning. 

Decision making can get messy if this choice isn’t made before a crisis. This graphic below shows the hierarchy for surrogate decision making under Washington state law if otherwise not designated.

Help your patients, their families, and your colleagues by having this conversation early.  A Health Care Durable Power of Attorney form is available from Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest and through the WSMA website. Keep some in your office.

This is a chart showing the hierarchy of who will make healthcare decisions for someone who doesn't have an advance directive.

Click the image to download a PDF.


For more information, contact Dr. Leslie Estep, Dr. Anita Meyer, or Dr. Erika Pope at Hospice of the Northwest, 360-814-5550, or, or

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