Health Care Advance Directives

All competent adults have the right to make decisions concerning their own health, including the right to choose or refuse medical treatment. Fla. Stat. Chapter 765.

Florida law recognizes the right of a competent adult to make an advance directive instructing their physician to provide, withhold or withdraw life-prolonging procedures; to designate another individual to make treatment decisions if they become unable to make their own decisions; and/or to indicate the desire to make an anatomical donation after death.

When someone becomes unable to make decisions on their own due to a physical or mental condition (such as being in a coma or developing dementia), they are considered incapacitated. For this reason, the State of Florida enacted the health care advance directives legislation, to ensure that an incapacitated person’s decisions about health care will still be respected.

Thus, it is important for every adult to make sure their health care advance directives are properly prepared and executed while they are competent. This is the only way to ensure that you make the decisions concerning your health care in the event you become incapacitated.

An Advance Directive is a witnessed written document where you give instructions and express your desires concerning any aspect of your health care.

There are four types of advance directives:

  1. Living Will
  2. Health Care Surrogate Designation
  3. Anatomical Donation
  4. HIPAA Authorizations