Florida filed bill would require guardians go to court
Tallahassee, Fl (treasurecoast.com) – Bills filed in Tallahassee aim to put tighter controls on senior guardians, who often help make financial and medical decisions for some of Florida’s most frail citizens. Bill supporters say most guardians have the best interests of their clients in mind, but some have stolen money from their wards, and some have even signed ‘do not resuscitate’ orders without the client’s knowledge. Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo says many people move to Florida in their 60s, leaving family and friends back home.
The guardian would be prohibited from consenting to an order not to resuscitate on behalf of a ward without permission from a court.
I usually do not pay attention to filed bills because many of them do not get any traction. This bill is very troubling. As a healthcare worker (RN), who was around before we had living wills, it is very troubling. The whole point is to not go to court. All of us in health care educate this issue constantly.
Here are a piece of information you need to know:
A DNR order form is simply signed by the patient, health care surrogate or health care proxy as defined in section 765.202, Florida Statutes, and the patient’s physician. This is a physician’s order. Believe me when I tell you physicians do not take this lightly and use their knowledge and training to assess before they sign this.
The person designated in a living will is the person who speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. Period.
When I teach this issue to my patients I suggest that they have a discussion regarding their wishes with their children or the person they are going to designate. No one judges anyone’s wishes. They can write these wishes on a form that can be signed by two people that are not blood related. I always suggest that if they have lots of children and or family members that they sit them all down and have a discussion while they can still speak for themselves. This will help to avoid fighting and everyone will be clear on everyone’s wishes. There is always one person that disagrees and if this is all talked about ahead of time then the focus is being respectful of the person’s wishes.
If there is a reason to be suspicious then law enforcement can be brought in.
The law that Kathleen Passidomo is suggesting is punitive and frankly insulting to all the people that have gone thru the process to make their wishes known. Let’s leave the government and court costs out of this issue. What she is suggesting punished people who are trying to do the right thing in a process we have already established.
A better plan is the plan we have. People should educate themselves. Health care workers will continue to educate people to their options and then people can make up their own minds.
Take a moment to take the time to think about what you want.
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