Five Qualities To Look For In A Healthcare Surrogate
An unexpected health emergency can happen at any age. Accidental injuries, severe illnesses, or sudden issues concerning chronic health conditions all have the potential to leave you incapacitated. In this situation, having someone to act as a healthcare surrogate conveys your wishes and helps to ensure you get the type of medical care you need and want.
Putting this type of estate planning document in place is even more important as you age. Our Tampa healthcare surrogate attorney explains more about it and the qualities to look for when selecting someone for this role.
What Is A Healthcare Surrogate?
If a medical emergency happens that leaves you unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, how are you supposed to convey your wishes to medical providers or choose the types of care and treatment you want? In this situation, a healthcare surrogate acts on your behalf. Among the tasks they are authorized to perform include:
- Review your medical records;
- Determine where you will receive medical care;
- Decide on medical treatments, which include drastic measures such as the4 use of ventilators or feeding tubes;
- Sue the hospital or other providers on your behalf if you were not provided proper medical care.
In order for someone to have this type of authority, the Florida Statutes require a legal document formally designating someone to act as your healthcare surrogate.
Picking The Right Person To Act As Your Healthcare Surrogate
People often count on their spouses or children to act as their healthcare surrogates. However, in an emergency situation, they may not be up to the task. Unfortunately, it could subject them to needless suffering, cause them to anguish over certain decisions, or fight among themselves about what they think you would want.
Instead of simply relying on a relative, the American Association of Retired People (AARP) recommends looking for someone to act as a healthcare surrogate who has the following five qualities:
- Physical proximity: They should live close to your home or city and be able to rush to your side.
- Ability: They should be strong enough to handle life-and-death situations and physically able, preferably without any serious health issues of their own.
- Tenacity: Dealing with medical providers and distraught family members is often challenging. Pick someone who will be tenacious and who is not easily intimidated.
- Willingness: Make sure they understand all that is required of a healthcare surrogate and are willing to fulfill this important role.
- Trustworthiness: Finally, select someone you trust to act in accordance with your desires, communicate your wishes, and make important decisions in a way you would want.
Discuss Your Options With Our Tampa Healthcare Surrogate Attorney
Naming someone to act as your healthcare surrogate is an important part of estate planning. It is common to have questions about the process and who you should select. To discuss your options, reach out to Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. Call or contact our office and request a consultation with our Tampa healthcare surrogate attorney today.