One of the most important aspects of preparing for the future relates to health care. In Florida, you have the right to control your medical care. Legal documents called advance directions allow you to state your decisions about medical treatments. If you become unable to make or communicate your health care preferences due to an illness or injury, medical personnel may use your advance directives to treat you according to your wishes.

You may get information about medical planning from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. According to the AHCA, Florida recognizes three types of advance directives: an anatomical donation, a living will and a health care surrogate designation.

Anatomical donation

An anatomical donation advance directive allows you to donate all or part of your body after you die. This can mean donating your organs to people who need transplants. Another option is giving your body to institutions for use in medical training or research.

In Florida, you may indicate on your driver’s license that you wish to be an organ donor. If you want to donate your body for medical training, you may sign a form indicating your decision.

Living will

 A living will gives you the chance to make health care decisions ahead of time. You may use this legal document to accept or reject certain medical treatments and procedures. Your doctor may be able to provide additional insight about health care decisions to include in a living will.

Health care surrogate designation

You may create an advance directive to name a person who may make health care decisions for you. For example, your chosen agent may make medical decisions about things not covered in your living will.

Planning ahead for your health care may include making decisions about treatments or procedures you do or do not want. You may create advance directives to explain these preferences to family members and medical professionals, which is crucial if an injury or illness renders you unable to communicate your wishes.