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What does a designation of Health Care Surrogate do for a Minor?

A Designation of Health Care Surrogate for a Minor (HCS) provides authorization to a nominated person, other than a natural parent or legal guardian, to give consent to medical treatment on behalf of a minor child. The nominated HCS may complete any consent forms and access medical records. Without the HCS, it can be stressful for a stepparent, grandparent, godparent, or supervising adult. Some examples of when this document is helpful are:

Stepparent

Jill and her stepson, Jack, are involved in a car accident on the way to school. Jack is rushed to the hospital, but Jill cannot get any information regarding Jack’s condition or his treatment. This is because Jill, as a stepmother, has no legal authority until all persons who have priority under Florida law are reached.

Parent or Child is Traveling

A HCS can also be helpful when parents go out of town, leaving their child in the care of a third party, or a child travels without his/her parents, such as for summer camp or extracurricular activities. When completing a HCS, a legal professional can help ensure everything is done in a correct and legally effective manner. For more information, please call me.

Christine O'Neil
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Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney
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