Florida legislation would require guardians receive judge’s approval for DNR orders

Companion bills filed in Florida House, Senate Wednesday

Guardians across Florida would be required to receive a judge’s approval to place do not resuscitate orders on clients in their care under legislation filed Wednesday by Florida lawmakers.

Legislation filed in both the Florida House and Senate is aimed at creating more oversight of the state’s guardianship program.

The companion bills -- House Bill 709 and Senate Bill 994 -- would also require guardians to report any payments they receive, as well as report who they are from to try to prevent any conflicts of interests or under the table gifts and kickbacks.

The bills will also prevent guardians from being able to petition themselves to be appointed to cases, unless they are related to the person.

Florida Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, District 28, confirmed to News 6 that both she and Florida Rep. Colleen Burton, who represents District 40, filed their bills together on Tuesday.

Passidomo said the bills will now be reviewed by the Rules Committee.

The legislation comes on the heels of a criminal investigation into former state guardian Rebecca Fierle, whose office was based in Orlando.

Fierle resigned after judges around Central Florida removed her from hundreds of cases, once it was discovered she placed DNR orders on people who did not want to die.

The criminal investigation is ongoing.