What is a Florida Healthcare Surrogate?
In Florida, adults can appoint a person to make healthcare decisions for them if they become incapacitated and are not able to make healthcare decisions on their own. The person appointed is known as a Florida Healthcare Surrogate.
Typically, the Healthcare Surrogate may make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person concerning:
- General health care matters, including decisions about what course of medical treatment should be undertaken,
- Whether to apply for public benefits to defray the cost of health care; and
- Admission to or transfer from a health care facility.
The document by which such power is conveyed is usually referred to in Florida as the “Designation of Healthcare Surrogate.” This document can convey as broad or as limited powers as a person desires. For instance, while the Healthcare Surrogate may be generally entitled to make healthcare treatment decisions, a person could exclude the surrogate from authorizing a blood transfusion if, for example, transfusions are against the person’s religious beliefs.
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