Understanding Healthcare Directives

  • by Caregiver Services, Inc.

A Florida Power of Attorney is a legal document delegating authority from one person (the Principal) to another (the Agent), for the other to act on their behalf with regard to matters other than healthcare including legal, financial and business issues. Therefore, having a Healthcare (Medical) Surrogate (also known as a Healthcare Power of Attorney) in addition to a general Power of Attorney is important for everyone to have. These crucial healthcare documents are referred to collectively as Advanced Healthcare Directives.

Even the healthiest person may experience an accident or healthcare crisis and may not be able to speak for themselves. It is particularly critical to make clear what your wishes are should the time come that you cannot express them yourself.

You should only choose someone as your Healthcare (Medical) Surrogate to make these important medical decisions if you trust them to carry out your wishes. For example, your spouse or children might find it too painful or difficult to comply with your request to be removed from life support.

The person who makes your healthcare decisions is found in the Healthcare (Medical) Surrogate. But how do they know what your wishes are?

Another Advanced Healthcare directive is a Living Will. These are written instructions that a person gives specifically about the actions that should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. The key decisions in the Living Will are:

  1. Whether to “pull the plug” on life prolonging machines if the loved one is both mentally incapacitated AND has a terminal illness, end stage condition or is a persistent vegetative state and
  2. Whether to maintain or remove a feeding tube and water tube under the same circumstances

If you are interested in speaking with an experienced attorney about these directives for yourself, family member or friend, contact

The Siegel Law Group, P.A.:



1200 North Federal Highway Suite 200 Boca Raton, FL 33432

Phone: 561-955-8515 Fax: 866-593-2250

Other satellite offices in: Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Aventura, Downtown Miami and Coral Gables

Posted in: Elderly Care, Family Issues

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