What is a health care proxy?
In the state of Florida, we call the Healthcare Advance Directive, which is for general medical decisionmaking, a designation of healthcare surrogate. We do not necessarily call it a healthcare proxy, as other states do. What I like to tell my clients about is that a healthcare surrogate designation is like the legal instrument for "doctor-talking." I call that the "doctor-talker" document, because it allows the individual that you've appointed speak out and speak to medical professionals on behalf of you if you are not capable of speaking to the doctors or medical professionals on your own behalf. It allows them to step into your shoes and start making general medical decisions. The healthcare surrogate designation needs to be contrasted against the living will document, which we can talk about later.