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Advanced health care directive can help terminally ill, disabled

In your estate plan, one thing that you may want to address is what you'd like to see happen if you're terminally ill. Florida is the state with one of the largest elderly populations, so it makes sense that you may have questions about "mercy killings" and if they're legal.

Nothing in Florida law allows for the euthanasia of people, but you can ask to have life-sustaining procedures or machines removed in the case that you are seriously or terminally ill.

What should you do to prevent life-sustaining procedures or machines from being used to keep you alive?

If you don't want life-sustaining machines or procedures performed due to a terminal illness or other reasons, you need to include this in your advanced health care directive. With the directive in place, your representative will be able to carry out your wishes and make sure that no life-sustaining processes are used when you pass away. You may wish to add an advanced health care directive to your estate plan to make sure that your wishes are known in case you are too unwell or disabled to let others know your preferences.

Presently, physician-assisted suicides and mercy killings are not allowed by law in Florida. As a result, the only thing you can add to your estate plan presently is your wish to avoid life-prolonging procedures when you are near death or pass away. You can also add a Do Not Resuscitate order to make sure you're not brought back if you do pass away at the hospital or home.

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