Section 765.204, Florida Statutes 2009
765.204 Capacity of principal; procedure.--
(1) A principal is presumed to be capable of making health care decisions for herself or himself unless she or he is determined to be incapacitated. Incapacity may not be inferred from the person's voluntary or involuntary hospitalization for mental illness or from her or his mental retardation.
(2) If a principal's capacity to make health care decisions for herself or himself or provide informed consent is in question, the attending physician shall evaluate the principal's capacity and, if the physician concludes that the principal lacks capacity, enter that evaluation in the principal's medical record. If the attending physician has a question as to whether the principal lacks capacity, another physician shall also evaluate the principal's capacity, and if the second physician agrees that the principal lacks the capacity to make health care decisions or provide informed consent, the health care facility shall enter both physician's evaluations in the principal's medical record. If the principal has designated a health care surrogate or has delegated authority to make health care decisions to an attorney in fact under a durable power of attorney, the facility shall notify such surrogate or attorney in fact in writing that her or his authority under the instrument has commenced, as provided in chapter 709 or s. 765.203.
(3) The surrogate's authority shall commence upon a determination under subsection (2) that the principal lacks capacity, and such authority shall remain in effect until a determination that the principal has regained such capacity. Upon commencement of the surrogate's authority, a surrogate who is not the principal's spouse shall notify the principal's spouse or adult children of the principal's designation of the surrogate. In the event the attending physician determines that the principal has regained capacity, the authority of the surrogate shall cease, but shall recommence if the principal subsequently loses capacity as determined pursuant to this section.
(4) A determination made pursuant to this section that a principal lacks capacity to make health care decisions shall not be construed as a finding that a principal lacks capacity for any other purpose.
(5) In the event the surrogate is required to consent to withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging procedures, the provisions of part III shall apply.
History.--s. 3, ch. 92-199; s. 1146, ch. 97-102; s. 22, ch. 99-331; s. 10, ch. 2000-295.