What is a living will?
A living will is a document in which you state your wishes not to have life prolonging procedures when you have are in an 1) end stage condition, 2) terminal condition, or 3) per sistent vegetative state. It does not mean treatment will automatically cease, only that the maker of the will (or his health care surrogate) have the ability to choose that it be stopped.
Who can make a Living Will?
A competent individual 18 years of age or older.
What conditions must be met before the living will may take effect?
Two physicians must certify that your condition falls into one of the three categories listed above and document this in writing in the patient’s records.
Is a living will recorded?
No, there is not requirement in the State of Florida to record a living will; however, be sure your surrogate and your primary care physician have a copy. Keep the original document in a safe place and inform the surrogate of its whereabouts in case the original is needed later
What if I am incapacitated, who exercises my right to enforce my living will?
In the event you are incapacitated and have a designated health care surrogate, the health care surrogate will make medical and end of life decisions on your behalf. When you have a living will in effect, it aides the difficult task of your health care surrogate in making extremely difficult end of life decisions.
Will my health care surrogate be able to review my medical records?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, (HIPPA) imposes restrictions on hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers regarding the release of clinical information about a patient. It is important that you waive these HIPPA regulations in your Health Care Surrogate Designation or a separate HIPPA waiver, so that your representative can review your health records.
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