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2(c) Surrogate provisions if there is no advance directive

If a dispute arises over whether or not to withhold, withdraw or provide life-sustaining treatment and the patient indicated no choice, it is possible for a family member or other interested party to request that a surrogate decision-maker be appointed. The statute sets out the order of priority of appointment and exactly what must be done. The procedure is somewhat clumsy but if a patient has not made choices, it is a way to proceed that can be less expensive and painful for a family than a court proceeding.

The surrogate form can be found, with some patience, in the Alabama Administrative Code at Section 420-5-19.-.01. This is in the Public Health section of the AAC. (http://www.alabamaadministrativecode.state.al.us/docs/hlth/index.html.) Cursor down to 420-5-19-Advance Directive. That will bring up the Surrogate form.

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