Under Florida law, any competent adult has the right to decide whether to prolong his or her life if he or she has a terminal condition, an end stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state. The desire of the principal is made known through a Living Will which directs the providing, withholding, or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures, including nutrition and hydration. The principal can also restrict the use of other procedures, such as CPR or invasive surgery, and designate a time for Hospice to be involved.
A Living Will applies only for certain conditions. Typically the principal executes a Designation of Health Care Surrogate in conjunction with the Living Will so that another family member may provide informed consent for other medical treatment should the need arise.
Florida law requires the execution of a Living Will follow certain formalities. The Living Will must also contain certain information to eliminate any confusion in the wishes of the principal. It is important to work with an attorney to draft and review any Living Will and to identify and address any problems or concerns the principal might have.