Your healthcare surrogate attorney in St. Petersburg will take you through the process of designating the person who will have legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you are not able to speak for yourself. The team at Growney, McKeown & Barber, P.A. wants you to understand this document and how it may play a vital role in your future. Read on to find out what this document does and why it is important.
What is a Healthcare Surrogate?
When your healthcare surrogate attorney takes you through the process of creating this legal document in St. Petersburg, you will know that you will be taken care of in the face of trauma or disability. If you are temporarily or permanently unable to make medical decisions, someone you trust will make decisions on your behalf.
This person has the legal right to:
- Speak with your doctors in St. Petersburg
- Retrieve your medical records
- Get secondary opinions from physicians and specialists
- Admit you into a particular facility
Your healthcare surrogate attorney allows your designee to comply with HIPAA by signing the waiver. HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Many people are not aware of the legal constraints that physicians have when it comes to releasing information to family members. The HIPAA laws do not allow the hospital or treatment center to release your medical information.
Even if you are legally married, your spouse may not be able to obtain medical records if they do not have the legal consent to do so. Your healthcare surrogate attorney can help you or your family avoid this situation altogether by appointing your medical representative.
Your Healthcare Surrogate Attorney Helps You Avoid Pitfalls
Assigning medical decision makers well before their services are needed is the best advice we can give you. Once your healthcare surrogate attorney walks you through the document, you can feel confident that you will be in capable, reliable hands if anything should happen to you. The directive allows you to:
- Understand your rights and gives you the time and opportunity to communicate them to your medical decision maker(s).
- It gives you an opening to discuss your medical wishes and needs with those close to you so they can act in your best interest if the need arises.
- It allows them to be aware of their responsibility towards you and be prepared to be there when they are needed.
Whom Should You Assign as Your Medical Surrogate?
Your healthcare surrogate attorney encourages you to make an independent decision about who to appoint as your healthcare surrogate. This person(s) will be different for everyone in St. Petersburg. A spouse is often the primary person that comes to mind for those who are married. If you do not have a wife or husband, perhaps a significant other could be closer. An adult child whom you are close with may also be a good option. A close friend who is a doctor or a nurse would be an active decision maker because they understand your situation from a medical perspective better than a family member.
You also have the opportunity to assign a backup decision maker. For example, you can add your spouse and your child.
Call Growney, McKeown & Barber, P.A. to Get Your Documents in Order
Establishing this record while you are at leisure to do so can save you time and trouble down the road in St. Petersburg. Give your healthcare surrogate attorney at Growney, McKeown & Barber, P.A. a call at 727-384-3800. You can discuss your situation and set up a consultation to prepare this document so you can live each day confidently knowing that you will be in good hands no matter what the future holds.