Hemlock Society & Foundation of Florida


Advance directive means a witnessed written document or oral statement in which instructions are given by a principal or in which the principal's desires are expressed concerning any aspect of the principal's health care, and includes, but is not limited to, the designation of a health care surrogate, a living will, or an anatomical gift made pursuant to part X of chapter 732, Florida Statutes.

Attending physician means the primary physician who has responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.

Close personal friend means any person 18 years of age or older who has exhibited special care and concern for the patient, and who presents an affidavit to the health care facility or to the attending or treating physician stating that he or she is a friend of the patient; is willing and able to become involved in the patient's health care; and has maintained such regular contact with the patient so as to be familiar with the patient's activities, health, and religious or moral beliefs.

End-stage condition means an irreversible condition that is caused by injury, disease, or illness which has resulted in progressively severe and permanent deterioration, and which, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, treatment of the condition would be ineffective.

Health care decision means:

  • Informed consent, refusal of consent, or withdrawal of consent to any and all health care, including life-prolonging procedures.
  • The decision to apply for private, public, government, or veterans' benefits to defray the cost of health care.
  • The right of access to all records of the principal reasonably necessary for a health care surrogate to make decisions involving health care and to apply for benefits.
  • The decision to make an anatomical gift pursuant to part X of chapter 732, Florida Statutes.

Health care facility means a hospital, nursing home, hospice, home health agency, or health maintenance organization licensed in this state, or any facility subject to part I of chapter 394, Florida Statutes.

Health care provider or "provider" means any person licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by law to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.

Incapacity or incompetent means the patient is physically or mentally unable to communicate a willful and knowing health care decision. For the purposes of making an anatomical gift, the term also includes a patient who is deceased.

Informed consent means consent voluntarily given by a person after a sufficient explanation and disclosure of the subject matter involved to enable that person to have a general understanding of the treatment or procedure and the medically acceptable alternatives, including the substantial risks and hazards inherent in the proposed treatment or procedures, and to make a knowing health care decision without coercion or undue influence.

Life-prolonging procedure means any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function. The term does not include the administration of medication or performance of medical procedure, when such medication or procedure is deemed necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.

Living will or declaration means:

  • A witnessed document in writing, voluntarily executed by the principal in accordance with Florida Statute chapter 765.302; or
  • A witnessed oral statement made by the principal expressing the principal's instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures.

Persistent vegetative state means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:

  • The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.
  • An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

Physician means a person licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459, Florida Statutes.

Principal means a competent adult executing an advance directive and on whose behalf health care decisions are to be made.

Proxy means a competent adult who has not been expressly designated to make health care decisions for a particular incapacitated individual, but who, nevertheless, is authorized pursuant to Florida Statutes chapter 765.401 to make health care decisions for such individual.

Surrogate means any competent adult expressly designated by a principal to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal upon the principal's incapacity.

Terminal condition means a condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which there is no reasonable medical probability of recovery and which, without treatment, can be expected to cause death.

History.--s. 2, ch. 92-199; s. 3, ch. 94-183; s. 46, ch. 96-169; s. 16, ch. 99-331; s. 3, ch. 2001-250; s. 131, ch. 2001-277.

Florida Statute Ch. Title XLIV, ch. 765.101


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