Can I Appoint My Son to Make Health Decisions for Me in Florida?
You may appoint a child as your health care surrogate without notifying the husband. A health care surrogate’s authority to make decisions for the principal does not exist until a physician determines the principal lacks capacity. The directive may be revoked by the principal or amended to name another or alternate surrogate. If the surrogate named refuses to act, a health care facility may seek the appointment of a proxy.
Please see the following FL statutes:
765.204 Capacity of principal; procedure. —
(1) A principal is presumed to be capable of making health care decisions
for herself or himself unless she or he is determined to be incapacitated.
Incapacity may not be inferred from the person's voluntary or involuntary
hospitalization for mental illness or from her or his mental retardation.
(2) If a principal's capacity to make health care decisions for herself
or himself or provide informed consent is in question, the attending
physician shall evaluate the principal's capacity and, if the physician
concludes that the principal lacks capacity, enter that evaluation in the
principal's medical record. If the attending physician has a question as to
whether the principal lacks capacity, another physician shall also evaluate
the principal's capacity, and if the second physician agrees that the
principal lacks the capacity to make health care decisions or provide
informed consent, the health care facility shall enter both physician's
evaluations in the principal's medical record. If the principal has
designated a health care surrogate or has delegated authority to make
health care decisions to an attorney in fact under a durable power of
attorney, the facility shall notify such surrogate or attorney in fact in
writing that her or his authority under the instrument has commenced, as
provided in chapter 709 or s. 765.203.
(3) The surrogate's authority shall commence upon a determination under
subsection (2) that the principal lacks capacity, and such authority shall
remain in effect until a determination that the principal has regained such
capacity. Upon commencement of the surrogate's authority, a surrogate who
is not the principal's spouse shall notify the principal's spouse or adult
children of the principal's designation of the surrogate. In the event the
attending physician determines that the principal has regained capacity,
the authority of the surrogate shall cease, but shall recommence if the
principal subsequently loses capacity as determined pursuant to this
(4) A determination made pursuant to this section that a principal lacks
capacity to make health care decisions shall not be construed as a finding
that a principal lacks capacity for any other purpose.
(5) In the event the surrogate is required to consent to withholding or
withdrawing life-prolonging procedures, the provisions of part III shall
765.205 Responsibility of the surrogate. —
(1) The surrogate, in accordance with the principal's instructions,
unless such authority has been expressly limited by the principal, shall:
(a) Have authority to act for the principal and to make all health care
decisions for the principal during the principal's incapacity.
(b) Consult expeditiously with appropriate health care providers to
provide informed consent, and make only health care decisions for the
principal which he or she believes the principal would have made under the
circumstances if the principal were capable of making such decisions. If
there is no indication of what the principal would have chosen, the
surrogate may consider the patient's best interest in deciding that
proposed treatments are to be withheld or that treatments currently in
effect are to be withdrawn.
(c) Provide written consent using an appropriate form whenever consent is
required, including a physician's order not to resuscitate.
(d) Be provided access to the appropriate medical records of the
(e) Apply for public benefits, such as Medicare and Medicaid, for the
principal and have access to information regarding the principal's income
and assets and banking and financial records to the extent required to make
application. A health care provider or facility may not, however, make such
application a condition of continued care if the principal, if capable,
would have refused to apply.
(2) The surrogate may authorize the release of information and medical
records to appropriate persons to ensure the continuity of the principal's
health care and may authorize the admission, discharge, or transfer of the
principal to or from a health care facility or other facility or program
licensed under chapter 400 or chapter 429.
(3) If, after the appointment of a surrogate, a court appoints a
guardian, the surrogate shall continue to make health care decisions for
the principal, unless the court has modified or revoked the authority of
the surrogate pursuant to s. 744.3115. The surrogate may be directed by the
court to report the principal's health care status to the guardian.
744.3115 Advance directives for health care. —
In each proceeding in which a guardian is appointed under this chapter,
the court shall determine whether the ward, prior to incapacity, has
executed any valid advance directive under chapter 765. If any advance
directive exists, the court shall specify in its order and letters of
guardianship what authority, if any, the guardian shall exercise over the
surrogate. Pursuant to the grounds listed in s. 765.105, the court, upon
its own motion, may, with notice to the surrogate and any other appropriate
parties, modify or revoke the authority of the surrogate to make health
care decisions for the ward. For purposes of this section, the term "health
care decision" has the same meaning as in s. 765.101.