A Healthcare Proxy is a written document wherein you designate another individual to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event circumstances render you unable to do so for yourself. It must be signed by you in the presence of witnesses who must verify your signature, your legal capacity and your intent.
A Healthcare Proxy is specifically authorized by the State of Florida and is a very flexible document. It is customarily used for medical treatment decisions of a temporary nature, such as when a surgical procedure is required and/or to deal with an unanticipated injury or illness.
By the terms of the document the person you designate is given specific authority to involve themselves as an active participant in those situations where you are unable to act on your own behalf.
A Healthcare Proxy may NOT authorize the withdrawal of life prolonging procedures in the case of terminally ill patients. Such authority is reserved under the Life Prolonging Procedures Act passed by the Florida Legislature in 1984, to the terms of a document commonly known as a Living Will. This legal instrument specifically deals with, among other things, such matters as resuscitation, the withholding of artificial ventilation, ongoing medical treatment, nutrition and hydration.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, be they religious or philosophical, we recommend that you closely evaluate your personal circumstances and your need for either or both of these important personal directives. This office stands ready to provide assistance in any way we can.