A designation of health care surrogate allows you (the principal) to appoint an agent to make health care decisions or receive protected health information, or both, on the principal’s behalf in the event the principal becomes incapacitated or is not able to make his or her own health care decisions.
Florida Statute Section 765.202(6) allows you to stipulate in the designation of health care surrogate that the power to make health care decisions on your behalf and/or receive health care information could be made effective immediately without a determination of incapacity. This is particularly useful when you are dealing with an elder parent or individual that may need assistance with doctors and other medical treatment.
The surrogate can be any competent adult appointed by you. This gives you the freedom to select the person most likely to carry out your wishes. The designation of health care surrogate can also be used to provide express directions or restrictions regarding your wishes about medical treatment and the powers that the health care surrogate will have.
The designated surrogate must act according to the instructions of the designation. This allows you to dictate the medical treatments that you want to receive under certain circumstances. To the extent that there are no instructions regarding a particular health care decision, the surrogate must make decisions based on your best interests.
The designation will be effective until revoked or if you stipulate a termination date. This allows you the ability to give the power to someone else to make decisions on your behalf permanently or only when you need it.