Living Will Information

FLORIDA LAWYERS AND PHYSICIANS ENCOURAGE LIVING WILLS AND HEALTH CARE SURROGATE DESIGNATIONS TALLAHASSEE, March 24, 2005

The Florida Bar and the Florida Medical Association have joined together to encourage Floridians to learn about the benefits of preparing Living Wills and to designate Health Care Surrogates. The lawyers’ and physicians’ groups are providing info rmation and statutory forms on their Web sites at flabar.org or fmaonline.org.

The Florida Bar and the Florida Medical Association are working together in an effort to maintain their traditions of serving the public interest.

“Physicians and lawyers want to ensure that all individuals involved with making health care decisions have the necessary information to make informed decisions,” said Florida Bar President Kelly Overstreet Johnson, of Tallahassee, and Florida Medical Association President Dennis S. Agliano, M.D., of Tampa.

Additionally, The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau is arranging for members of its Elder Law, Health Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections to volunteer as speakers for address civic and community organizations throughout the state on Living Wills and other end of life issues. To schedule a speaker, groups should call 1-800-342- 8060, extension 5767.

A Living Will is a document that gives instructions or expresses an individual’s desire concerning any aspect of his or her future health care treatment. A Health Care Surrogate is a person designated to make health care decisions if the individual becomes unable to do so. A Living Will should not be confused with a person’s legal will which disposes of personal property on or after his or her death, and appoints a personal representative or revokes or revises another will.

In order to make the provided documents valid, they must be signed and witnessed. There is no need to involve a physician or retain a lawyer, unless personally desired.