State Law - According to Florida law, an Advance Health Care Directive means a witnessed written document or oral statement

Florida Health Care Directive, advance medical directive

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Florida Advance Medical and Health Care Directive  

Florida Law Summary
Health Care Directive
and Revocable Living Will

The Living Will and designation of health care surrogate in Florida is regulated by Florida Statutes, paragraphs 765.101, 765.104, and 765-201, 765-205, 765.301 through 765.309.
On our website you may purchase either the Florida Advance Health Care Directive, which combines three forms in one document: a Living Will, an Anatomical gift donation, and a Health Care Power of Attorney. Or, you may buy all three legal forms separately. You are not obligated by law to have one form and not to have the other.
According to Florida Statute, an adult may prepare a written statement known as a “Living Will” to control the health care treatment decisions that can be made on that person's behalf. The person may use the Living Will as part of or instead of a health care power of attorney or to disqualify a surrogate.
In a Living Will, you do not appoint an agent to make health related decisions for you if you are terminally ill. If you wish to designate such an agent (attorney-in-fact), you need to complete a Health Care Power of Attorney or a Florida Advance Health Care Directive, which that combines into one document three forms in one document: a Living Will, an anatomical gift donation, and a Health Care Power of Attorney.
Here are some of the important definitions you will need to shall know before you start working on your advance health care directive:
An "advance directive" is a witnessed written document or oral statement in which you (the “Principal”) give instructions or express desires concerning any aspect of your health care, and which includes, but is not limited to, the designation of a health care surrogate, a living will, or an anatomical gift.
An "end-stage condition" is a condition that is caused by injury, disease, or illness which has resulted in severe and permanent deterioration, indicated by incapacity and complete physical dependency, and for which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, treatment of the irreversible condition would be medically ineffective.
A "health care decision" is:
  • Informed consent, refusal of consent, or withdrawal of consent to any and all health care, including life-prolonging procedures.
  • The decision to apply for private, public, government, or veterans' benefits to defray the cost of health care.
  • The right of access to all records of the Principal reasonably necessary for a health care surrogate to make decisions involving health care and to apply for benefits.
  • The decision to make an anatomical gift.
"Incapacity" or "incompetent" is when the patient is physically or mentally unable to communicate a willful and knowing health care decision.
"Informed consent" is consent voluntarily given by a person after a sufficient explanation and disclosure of the subject matter involved to enable that person to have a general understanding of the treatment or procedure and the medically acceptable alternatives, including the substantial risks and hazards inherent in the proposed treatment or procedures, and to make a knowing health care decision without coercion or undue influence.
A "life-prolonging procedure" is any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function. The term does not include the administration of medication or performance of medical procedure when such medication or procedure is deemed necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.
A "Living Will" or "declaration" is
  • A witnessed document in writing, voluntarily executed by the Principal in accordance with 765.302; or
  • A witnessed oral statement made by the Principal expressing the Principal's instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures.
A "persistent vegetative state" is a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:
  • The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.
  • An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.
A "Principal" is a competent adult executing an advance directive and on whose behalf health care decisions are to be made.
A "proxy" is a competent adult who has not been expressly designated to make health care decisions for a particular incapacitated individual, but who is authorized pursuant to 765.401 to make health care decisions for an individual.
A "surrogate" is any competent adult expressly designated by a Principal to make health care decisions on behalf of the Principal upon the Principal's incapacity.
A "terminal condition" means a condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which there is no reasonable medical probability of recovery and which, without treatment, can be expected to cause death.
A competent adult may, at any time, make a Living Will or written declaration and direct the providing, withholding, or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures in the event that he or she has a terminal condition, has an end-stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state.
A Living Will must be signed by the Principal in the presence of two subscribing witnesses, one of whom is neither a spouse nor a blood relative of the Principal. If the Principal is physically unable to sign the Living Will, one of the witnesses must subscribe the Principal's signature in the Principal's presence and at the Principal's direction.
It is the responsibility of the Principal to provide for notification to her or his attending or treating physician that the Living Will has been made. An attending or treating physician or health care facility which is so notified must make the Living Will or a copy thereof a part of the Principal's medical records.
A properly executed Living Will establishes a rebuttal presumption of clear and convincing evidence of the Principal's wishes.
The statutory form is suggested but is not required.
If a person has made a Living Will expressing his or her desires concerning life-prolonging procedures but has not designated a surrogate to execute his or her wishes concerning life-prolonging procedures or appointed a health care surrogate, the attending physician should proceed as directed by the Principal in the Living Will.
Before proceeding in accordance with the Principal's Living Will, it must be determined that:
  • The Principal does not have a reasonable medical probability of recovering capacity so that the right could be exercised directly by the Principal.
  • The Principal has a terminal condition, has an end-stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state.
  • Any limitations or conditions expressed orally or in a written declaration have been carefully considered and satisfied.
  • In determining whether the patient has a terminal condition, has an end-stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state or may recover capacity, or whether a medical condition or limitation referred to in an advance directive exists, the patient's attending or treating physician and at least one other consulting physician must separately examine the patient. The findings of each that examination must be documented in the patient's medical record and signed by each examining physician before life-prolonging procedures may be withheld or withdrawn.
An advance directive or designation of a surrogate may be amended or revoked at any time by a competent Principal:
  • By means of a signed, dated writing;
  • By means of the physical cancellation or destruction of the advance directive by the Principal or by another in the Principal's presence and at the Principal's direction;
  • By means of an oral expression of intent to amend or revoke; or
  • By means of a subsequently executed advance directive that is materially different from a previously executed advance directive.


(1) the person designated by the Principal as your agent;
(2) a person related to the Principal by blood or marriage;
(3) a person entitled to any part of the Principal’s estate after the Principal’s death under a will or codicil executed by the Principal or by operation of law;
(4) the Principal’s attending physician;
(5) an employee of the Principal’s attending physician;
(6) an employee of a health care facility in which the Principal is a patient if the employee is providing direct patient care to the Principal or is an officer, director, partner, or business office employee of the health care facility or of any parent organization of the health care facility; or
(7) a person who, at the time this power of attorney is executed, has a claim against any part of the Principal’s estate after his or her death.
* * *

Florida Advance Health Care Directive To better understand the health care and pecuniary related issues our legal articles, frequently asked questions, facts and other law related information may be of interest to you.



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