Under Florida Law, every adult has the right to make certain decisions concerning their medical treatment. Advance Directives allow for your rights and personal wishes to be respected even if you are too sick to make decisions yourself. You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject medical treatment, including whether or not to continue with treatment and other procedures that would prolong your life artificially.
You may spell out these rights in a "Living Will" containing your personal directions about life-prolonging treatment in the case of serious illness that could cause death. You may also designate another person as a healthcare surrogate who may make decisions for you if you become mentally or physically unable to do so. This surrogate may function on your behalf for a brief time or longer, for a life threatening or non-life threatening illness. Any limits to the power of surrogate in making decisions for you should be clearly expressed. If you so request, the hospital will provide you with Advance Directive forms. If you have already made these arrangements, please provide us with a copy as soon as possible, so it may be placed in your medical record.
For more information on advance directives, or to download a form, you may visit www.putitinwriting.org.