An “advance directive” is a document that you fill out before you need hospitalization. It designates how you want your healthcare to be delivered in the event that you are not mentally or physically able to make that decision yourself. It also allows you to name a trusted person to make these choices for you if you become unable to do so. Two forms of advance directives are:
- A Living Will
- Healthcare Surrogate Designation
A Living Will
A living will generally states the type of medical care you want or do not want if you become unable to make your own decisions. It is called a “living” will because it takes effect while you are still living. Under Florida law, you may make a living will and direct the providing, withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures in the event that you:
- Have a terminal condition caused by injury, disease or illness from which there is no reasonable medical probability of recovery and that, without treatment, can be expected to cause death, or
- Have an end-stage condition caused by disease or illness that has resulted in progressively severe and permanent deterioration and, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, treatment of the condition would be ineffective, or
- Are in persistent “vegetative” state, or permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:
- The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind;
- An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.
A healthcare surrogate form is a signed, dated and witnessed document naming another person such as a husband, wife, son, daughter or close friend as your agent to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them yourself. You can include instructions about any treatment you want or wish to avoid. You may also name a second person to stand in if your first choice is not available.
Please call Risk Management with any questions: (321) 841-5294