Make Sure You Have a Health Care Proxy for Your Adult Children

Should you find yourself in an emergency medical situation involving your adult child who does not have an HCP, not only may you be unable to authorize a particular treatment for your child and give informed consent on his or her behalf, you may also be unable to obtain any information on the nature of the child’s condition, the type of treatment needed, or any other information pertaining to his or her health, regardless of whether the medical situation is immediate and life-threatening.  Under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), all medical information pertaining to any adult individual is private and may only be released to a person who has been designated as the patient’s “personal representative”, which is normally included as part of a well-drafted HCP (Health Care Proxy).