Health Care Surrogate | Tennessee Center for Decision-Making Support

Health Care Surrogate

What is it?

A Health Care Surrogate means someone else will make decisions for you about your healthcare if you are unable to make them yourself.

A Health Care Surrogate is different from a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), because:

1. A doctor decides whether a Health Care Surrogate is needed and who will be the surrogate making decisions for you. In a DPOA, you decide.

2. A Health Care Surrogate cannot be revoked or canceled as easily as a DPOA. A Health Care Surrogate has to be revoked in writing or by personally informing the lead doctor. A DPOA can be done at any time and in any manner.

If you have an Advance Directive or Living Will, your surrogate can use it to know what kind of decisions you want made for you.

Some conservatorships cover healthcare decisions.

What does TN Law say?

The Tennessee Health Care Decisions Act creates Health Care Surrogates. You can read the law in Tennessee Code Annotated Title 68 Chapter 11 Section 1803: https://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/

How do I learn more?

The Tennessee Health Care Decisions Act creates Health Care Surrogates. You can read the law in Tennessee Code Annotated TCA Sec. 33-2 219-221: https://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/