Florida Law allows an individual to designate a Surrogate to make health care decisions on his or her behalf. Such individual is appointed through a “Health Care Surrogate Designation” or “Health Care Power of Attorney.”
The Surrogate makes specified health care decisions on behalf of the maker of the document.
The following matters are within the scope of the Surrogate’s power: the authority to hire and fire medical personnel; consent or withhold consent to conventional and unconventional medical treatment; authorize pain relief medications or rehabilitative programs; change accommodations, including hospital, nursing home or hospice care; and to review all confidential medical or related records and information.
The Health Care Surrogate does not terminate in the event of any physical or mental disability and is exercisable from the date it is created.
If properly worded, the Surrogate may now gain access to the individual’s health care and medical records notwithstanding the privacy restrictions imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
A sample Health Care Surrogate Designation appears as Exhibit IX in our Firm’s book.