If you cannot communicate due to some event or illness, then Massachusetts law provides for a health care proxy document. By signing this document, and having it witnesses by two persons, you can name the persons you allow to communicate your medical wishes.
But there are two rules you must follow.
The first is that the form only allows you to name one person at a time and may have one a FIRST person and a SECOND person. Simply put, the law does not allow for multiple persons to act at the same time.
Rule #2 requires that the document be signed by you AND by two additional persons. They are called 'witnesses.' It is like signing a Will and the witnesses should sign at the same time you sign.
And then, when in proper form, this document allows the person you name to speak up for you for medical reasons.
But first, a very important step must be followed.
For the health care proxy to be active, Massachusetts law requires that your doctor first state in writing that you are unable to meaningfully communicate about your medical wishes.
This step is vital in making the health care proxy to be effective.
You can revoke a health care proxy that you've signed. And, even if it's active and you're ill, you can continue to speak up for your own health care decision making.
A related document is called the MOLST form. A medical doctor signs this form after discusses end of life treatment with you.
It is more specific than a health care proxy. It is PINK in color, and therefore would stand out in your wallet or purse if you were found non-communicative.