2012 Florida Statutes
Legislative findings and intent.
Legislative findings and intent.
765.102 Legislative findings and intent.—
(1) The Legislature finds that every competent adult has the fundamental right of self-determination regarding decisions pertaining to his or her own health, including the right to choose or refuse medical treatment. This right is subject to certain interests of society, such as the protection of human life and the preservation of ethical standards in the medical profession.
(2) To ensure that such right is not lost or diminished by virtue of later physical or mental incapacity, the Legislature intends that a procedure be established to allow a person to plan for incapacity by executing a document or orally designating another person to direct the course of his or her medical treatment upon his or her incapacity. Such procedure should be less expensive and less restrictive than guardianship and permit a previously incapacitated person to exercise his or her full right to make health care decisions as soon as the capacity to make such decisions has been regained.
(3) The Legislature recognizes that for some the administration of life-prolonging medical procedures may result in only a precarious and burdensome existence. In order to ensure that the rights and intentions of a person may be respected even after he or she is no longer able to participate actively in decisions concerning himself or herself, and to encourage communication among such patient, his or her family, and his or her physician, the Legislature declares that the laws of this state recognize the right of a competent adult to make an advance directive instructing his or her physician to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-prolonging procedures, or to designate another to make the treatment decision for him or her in the event that such person should become incapacitated and unable to personally direct his or her medical care.
(4) The Legislature recognizes the need for all health care professionals to rapidly increase their understanding of end-of-life and palliative care. Therefore, the Legislature encourages the professional regulatory boards to adopt appropriate standards and guidelines regarding end-of-life care and pain management and encourages educational institutions established to train health care professionals and allied health professionals to implement curricula to train such professionals to provide end-of-life care, including pain management and palliative care.
(5) For purposes of this chapter:
(a) Palliative care is the comprehensive management of the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and existential needs of patients. Palliative care is especially suited to the care of persons who have incurable, progressive illnesses.
(b) Palliative care must include:
1. An opportunity to discuss and plan for end-of-life care.
2. Assurance that physical and mental suffering will be carefully attended to.
3. Assurance that preferences for withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining interventions will be honored.
4. Assurance that the personal goals of the dying person will be addressed.
5. Assurance that the dignity of the dying person will be a priority.
6. Assurance that health care providers will not abandon the dying person.
7. Assurance that the burden to family and others will be addressed.
8. Assurance that advance directives for care will be respected regardless of the location of care.
9. Assurance that organizational mechanisms are in place to evaluate the availability and quality of end-of-life, palliative, and hospice care services, including the evaluation of administrative and regulatory barriers.
10. Assurance that necessary health care services will be provided and that relevant reimbursement policies are available.
11. Assurance that the goals expressed in subparagraphs 1.-10. will be accomplished in a culturally appropriate manner.
(6) The Department of Elderly Affairs, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Department of Health shall jointly create a campaign on end-of-life care for purposes of educating the public. This campaign should include culturally sensitive programs to improve understanding of end-of-life care issues in minority communities.
History.—s. 2, ch. 92-199; s. 1144, ch. 97-102; s. 17, ch. 99-331; s. 7, ch. 2000-295; s. 4, ch. 2001-250; ss. 132, 133, ch. 2001-277.