A designation of Healthcare surrogate (also known as a medical power of attorney) allows you to name an agent to act on your behalf for medically related issues. Your agent will be able to access your medical information and make medical decisions on your behalf if you ever find yourself incapacitated or not fully capable of dealing with medical issues.
Your healthcare surrogate is a really important piece of the puzzle to completing your Healthcare Advance Directives. Under Florida Statute 765, the Healthcare Surrogate document allows you to name agents (both primary and alternates) that will have the power to act on your behalf in medical situations and to access your medical information. You can also custom tailor it, kind of like the old Burger King commercial “your way, right away.” If you are of a certain type of religion that doesn't want blood transfusions or you will want certain types of other procedures performed, you can spell this out in this document. It's really important that your agent is a tough cookie and has total awareness of this document and your wishes. They need to be strong with medical decisionmaking, they need to be informed, they need to be flexible, they need to be local, they need to be someone that can drop work and really advocate for you. If you don't like your doctor and you want a second opinion or you want to be transferred, or you need more information, they need to be your advocate. This agent might be a different person in the family than the person your name to manage your finances. As we’ve seen with our government, sometimes it’s a really good thing to have separation of powers.