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Should a Person Obtain a Living Will or Health Care Surrogate?
The Florida Legislature has acknowledged that a Competent Adult has the right to make decisions concerning his or her right to choose or refuse medical treatment which would prolong their life in the event they had a terminal medical condition.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 765 an individual may prepare a document called a Living Will.
A Living Will must be signed by a Competent Adult inthe presence of two witnesses one of whom is neither a spouse nor relative.
After the preparation of the Living Will it is the individual's responsibility to provide notification to their doctor.
Under Florida Statute 765, life prolonging procedures include provisions for food and water for terminally ill persons. Living Wills do not include medical procedures to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.
A Health Care Surrogate involves a Competent Adult who designates a person to make all medical decisions on behalf of an individual during a period of mental or physical incapacity.
During an Incapacity, a Health Care Surrogate is the individual who consults with physicians and makes important decisions on an Emergency basis. The Surrogate can provide Informed Consent to medical procedures while a person cannot do so. The Surrogate should try to follow the wishes of the incapacitated individual, but ultimately the Health Care Surrogate will make medical decisions which they believe is in the incapacitated persons best interests.
If you need Legal Advice regarding the preparation of a Living Will or Health Care Surrogate, I am prepared to assist.