What Is A Health Care Surrogate And Why Do I Need One?
Unexpected health issues can arise at any age. Whether it involves an accident, sudden and severe illness, or the dramatic worsening of an ongoing medical condition, you could be left incapacitated and unable to communicate with others. To protect yourself in this situation and to ensure you receive the type of medical care you want and need, it is important to have a health care surrogate. Our Tampa health care surrogate attorney explains more about why you need one and how to put the appropriate documents in place.
Choosing Someone To Act As Your Health Care Surrogate
Under Section 765.202 of the Florida Statutes, a health care surrogate is someone you designate to make important medical decisions in the event you are incapacitated and unable to do so on your own. This is done through the process of completing a health care surrogate document as part of your overall estate plan.
This document specifies the person you select, names an alternate if they are unavailable, specifies your specific wishes regarding major health care decisions, and details the types of duties authorized for the surrogate to perform. It is then signed by all parties and in the presence of two witnesses. Give careful consideration to the person you choose to act as your health care surrogate. Generally, you will want to look for the following:
- Someone you trust to act in your best interests;
- Someone who knows you and your values and goals;
- Someone physically close, who is able and willing to be where needed in the event of an emergency;
- Someone with strength and conviction, capable of asserting your wishes with doctors and other family members.
Situations In Which You May Need A Health Care Surrogate
According to Florida Health Charts, close to 5,000 people in Hillsborough County are hospitalized each year. Among the lessons learned during the COVID pandemic is how quickly a situation involving someone’s health can deteriorate and the importance of having a plan in place.
A health care surrogate conveys your wishes to medical personnel regarding the types of treatment you want and medical interventions. Situations in which you might need a health care surrogate in Tampa include:
- You suffer a serious accident, such as a car crash;
- You suffer a major illness or disease, such as cancer;
- You have a major health event, such as a heart attack or stroke;
- You are unconscious, in a coma, or otherwise unable to communicate;
- Your situation deteriorates to the point of needing life support.
Contact Our Tampa Estate Planning Lawyer
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., we can guide you in designating a health care surrogate and putting other important estate planning documents in place. Rather than taking chances, make sure you are prepared in case of sudden and unexpected events. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation with our Tampa estate planning lawyer today.