What would happen if you were in a car accident and became incapacitated? What if you experienced a concussion at work? What repercussions would result if you suffered a stroke that made you unable to communicate?
Who would make critical healthcare decisions on your behalf?
It’s difficult to consider, but hundreds of thousands of people face these realities every year, which is why designating a healthcare surrogate is essential. This person, who is allowed to make decisions if you are incapacitated, can ensure you get the same care and treatments you would choose for yourself.
Your healthcare surrogate is authorized to make medical decisions while you are incapacitated. Often a spouse or family member, this individual is responsible for making important choices during a difficult period. They are directed to consider your best interests and consult with care providers to make the best possible decisions.
These decisions might include whether or not to conduct specific surgeries, therapies, or treatments. They may approve or disapprove medications and may authorize or deny life-prolonging measures.
In the state of Florida, you can dictate what your healthcare surrogate can and cannot do. You can specify what they should approve or deny through what is called an “advanced directive.” Essentially, you can specify your wishes regarding medical care, plans that hopefully are never used but, in the event of a medical emergency, can be critical. Appointing a surrogate allows you to exercise a high level of control over your healthcare, even when you are unable to communicate.
Healthcare surrogates are often spouses, parents, children, or other family members. But they can be anyone you choose, such as a close personal friend.
You can also choose a secondary, or backup, surrogate. This is helpful if you and your first surrogate are incapacitated at the same time. For example, if you and your spouse, your appointed healthcare surrogate, were incapacitated in a car accident, the backup surrogate would have legal authority to make decisions.
Designating a healthcare surrogate and specifying advanced directives (basic instructions) will take the burden off your loved ones. Instead of having to make extremely difficult decisions and constantly worrying whether they made the right choice, they can simply consult your directives. In many ways, as you can see, creating directives is an act of kindness.
You never know what tomorrow will bring. If you become incapacitated, who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf? No matter your age, health, or lifestyle, it’s essential that you designate a healthcare surrogate with the help of an expert attorney to act in your best interests.
Contact our staff today, and we’ll create your surrogate designation so you can be confident that, should you become unable to make important decisions, someone you trust will do so on your behalf.