Competent adults have the right to make decisions regarding their own health, such as the right to choose or refuse medical treatment that may only prolong life. On the other hand, society has interests in the preservation of human life along with the preservation of ethical standards in the medical profession. To protect all of these rights, the Florida Legislature has established a procedure, called a Living Will.
A Living Will is a legal document that allows a person to plan for the case that they become incapacitated with a terminal illness. It also allows for the maker to designate a person, called a Health Care Surrogate, to act on their behalf to make medical decisions in such a situation.
A Living Will should be signed by the maker and two witnesses.
Once you have made a living will, you should notify your physician and local hospital to have it included in your medical records.
Both a Living Will and the Designation of a Health Care Surrogate can be revoked by the maker at any time. The maker can do this by a signed and dated letter of revocation, by physically canceling or destroying the original document, by an oral expression of one’s intent to revoke, or through a later executed document that would supersede the first.
Source: The Florida Bar
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