Ocala, FL Health Care Surrogates
In many cases, individuals suffering from terminal diseases and conditions reach the point that they can no longer make medical decisions for themselves. In this situation, an individual may appoint another individual to act as his or her health care surrogate. A health care surrogate, known as the agent in this type of agreement, acts on the ill individual's behalf by carrying out the individual's desires regarding his or her healthcare after he or she may no longer do so for him or herself. This generally involves communicating the individual's consent to various life-saving and life-continuing procedures, such as surgery, intubation, the administration of drugs, or resuscitation to doctors and other healthcare providers.
Ocala Attorneys for Designating a Health Care Surrogate
Designating a health care surrogate for yourself can be a difficult decision to make. By educating yourself about your rights and how the process of designating a health care surrogate works, this decision can become a little bit easier. Work with Estate Planning attorney Samantha Shealy Rauba at our firm to learn more about what a health care surrogate can and cannot do for you.
Issues to Consider when Designating a Health Care Surrogate
When you designate a health care surrogate, you must complete a HIPAA release form and include it with your Designation of Health Care Surrogate form to allow your surrogate access to your medical records and give him or her the right to communicate your consent for you. Some of the issues to consider when making this decision are:
- Your relationship to the prospective surrogate. Most people choose their spouse or adult child. Consider each party's ability to act as a competent health care surrogate for you.
- Each prospective surrogate's views on issues like resuscitation and euthanasia. You do not want to put your surrogate into a position where he or she may have to communicate a decision that is in conflict with his or her views.
Designating an individual as your health care surrogate is not the same as granting him or her power of attorney. With a health care surrogate, you give him or her the ability to carry out your desires regarding consent to various medical procedures. When an individual has power of attorney, he or she must make these decisions for the principal, with the principal's best interest in mind.
Why a Health Care Surrogate is Important
If you do not have a health care surrogate and you become incapacitated, the court may have to appoint a guardian for you. This is done through a guardianship proceeding, which can cost your family a considerable amount of money and create stress between your loved ones. When a guardian is appointed, he or she has the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. Retain control of your medical decisions and save your family the cost and stress of a proceeding by designating a health care surrogate.
Health Care Surrogate Attorneys Ready to Help
If you are considering appointing a health care surrogate or want to learn more about other legal issues related to estate planning, contact Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli today to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our firm. We can advise you about this type of decision and help you reach a satisfying resolution.