A Short Introduction to Florida Living Wills
There are many reasons to draft or have drafted for you a Florida living will. They allow you to dictate what medical treatment you’d like when dictation becomes impossible. For instance, when you are in the final stages of a terminal disease, or you are afflicted with a permanent coma, they are the ideal route for you to end your life with dignity and comfort, all while avoiding any legal battles between your loved ones who differ on whether they’d like you to continue to receive medical treatment.
Florida living wills are also sometimes called advance directives, though in truth living wills are just a division of what advance health care directives can be. Since Florida living wills can achieve numerous things, it is important to know all about their different abilities, especially since the stakes regarding completing them correctly are so high.
Naming Your Health Care Surrogate
Some advance directives are called “Power of Attorney” and include only this section, though it is also common to roll the “Power of Attorney” into a Florida living will. A health care surrogate is in charge of your medical decisions when you are no longer capable of decision making. Most often, health care surrogates are a person’s family members or loved ones, and they are not allowed to be their doctors or health care providers.
Of course, since the entire point of a Florida living will is to list your medical decisions, your health care surrogate should hopefully have to make few decisions on their own. You should choose an alternate health care surrogate, in case your primary one is not in a situation where they can help you.
Health Care Plan
The most important part of the living will is the section which stipulates whether you’d like your life artificially prolonged when the immediate costs seem to outweigh the gains. Of course, many persons believe in the possibility of miracles, and they can lose their Florida living will to prolong their lives as long as possible in the hopes of reaching a stage of recovery, while others may want to end their lives naturally when it comes clear that their time is at an end. You should stipulate under what conditions your Florida living will should take effect. If you are in a coma? If you have a terminal illness? Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to have down differing answers for different conditions.
Making a Binding Florida Living Will
Try to sign your Florida living will in the presence of two others who can be your legal witnesses. Neither of them should be your health care surrogate, if in fact you named one, and at least one of them shouldn’t be your legal relative. That is because at least one witness is not supposed to stand to benefit in any way from your death.
Additional Information If you’d like to know more about Florida living wills, you should read one for yourself. The Attorney General’s Office in Florida has put up one sample living will for educational purposes or to fill out and sign, as you see fit.