Without an advanced directive, you are the only one who can make medical decisions for yourself. You have a right to make these choices, based on recommendations from your doctor.
However, what if something happens and you can’t communicate with the doctor or cannot make these decisions yourself? What happens if you come down with a viral disease that puts you in the hospital and you end up in a medically-induced coma? Someone has to make decisions for you, but who will it be?
The use of a medical power of attorney
If the hypothetical solution listed above makes you anxious, there’s a good reason for it — but there’s also a solution. You can use a medical power of attorney which we call a Healthcare Surrogate in Florida. This document must be executed in advance, and you choose an agent who can make these choices for you. If needed, your medical team can talk to your agent and follow his or her instructions. Your agent can make the choices you would have made if you were able to do so.
If you set this up now, you are able to choose who is going to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. As long as you have capacity, you retain the right to make those healthcare decisions. The power of attorney does not spring into effect until you can no longer make your decisions and someone else must do so. You just need to make your power of attorney designation in advance so that you’re ready if anything unexpected takes place.
Maybe you’ll never need this document, but it will give you peace of mind know that you’re prepared. Take the time to look into your legal options so that you can get everything set up soon.