How do you give directions to medical professionals when your mind is screaming but your voice is silent? The answer is simple: you appoint a trusted person to be your agent for health care. This is done in a simple legal document, one which medical professionals see and use all the time. Your agent becomes your voice. By communicating ahead of time with your agent, you can let him or her know of your healthcare wishes, worries, and fears. If you ever lose your voice (or your mind), your agent can represent you and express to the medical community the thoughts and decisions the two of you previously discussed and shared. You give your agent authority to act on your behalf. Without an agent, your voice remains silent and the professionals have to make their best judgments, without really knowing you and without explicit direction. If you do not have a family member or trusted friend who can act in this role, a fiduciary can. Make sure your voice is heard, even when no sound escapes your lips.