In many states, there is a document called a health care power of attorney. This document gives an agent the power to make medical decisions for someone who is incapacitated. In Florida, this same document is called a designation of health care surrogate.
The form for this designation is relatively simple to fill out. It requires you to complete your requested surrogate’s name, address and phone number on a legal document. You can also assign an alternate in the case that the person who you initially wanted to serve as your surrogate can no longer do so for any reason.
What kinds of instructions can you include for your health care surrogate?
On this legal document, you will go over the instructions you want to leave for the surrogate. The instructions may state that the surrogate can receive any and all health care information about you from the present or past. You can also state that you’d like this surrogate to make health care decisions for you.
Additionally, this form does have a place where you can decide if you would like to make an anatomic gift, which allows you to donate your body to science if you pass away. This is not the same thing as being an organ donor, so keep that in mind as you fill out this document.
An important part of this form does state that if you have decision-making capacity, then you should be able to make decisions about your own care. The health care surrogate is also required to keep you reasonably informed about the decisions they make, even if it’s not possible for you to fully understand what those decisions mean for you due to incapacity.
Is it easy to end this surrogacy if you want to?
Once it’s in place, you can amend or revoke the designation if you sign a new legal document stating your intention, destroy the designation in front of others, verbally state that you’d like it to end or sign a new designation that is different. This is something to go over when you’re creating your initial designation so that you understand how to maintain control of your legal rights.