New York Health Care Proxy
An additional legal component in preparation for a circumstance in which a decision has to be made about whether or not to provide you with medical care, health care or a medical procedure when you are not able to make your own decisions, is called a Health Care Proxy. A Health Care Proxy permits you to name a specific person who will serve as your decision maker for health care and medical care purposes when and if you are unable to make those decisions. It is wise to name a person who is intelligent, compassionate, capable of talking with and understanding physicians recommendations about medical care, someone you trust to make the best decision for you and who will adhere to your known wishes and intentions. If you name your husband or wife to serve as the person to make medical decisions for you when or if you are unable to do so, it is advisable to name an alternate person in the event that both you and your spouse become incapable of making medical decisions at the same time if both of you are involved in a common accident.
Consult With A Lawyer
You can call the Law Office of Jerold S. Slate at (845) 471-4141 to arrange for a personal and confidential consultation about preparing a Health Care Proxy for you. If you have not executed a Living Will and have not executed a Health Care Proxy, then the new New York Family Health Care Decisions Act (Public Health Law, Article 29-CC) that was signed by former Governor David Paterson will allow family members or close friends to make health care decisions including whether or not to withhold or withdraw life sustaining treatment for persons who are unable to make those decisions for themselves. This new law is complex and is not the subject of this website. The new law describes the order in which certain persons have a priority to act as a “surrogate decision maker” when an individual is not capable of making his or her own medical or health care decisions. The order of priority is: (1) a Mental Health Law (MHL) Article 81 Court appointed guardian (if there is one); (2) the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in the FHCDA); (3) an adult child; (4) a parent; (5) a brother or sister; (6) a close friend.
In order to avoid the possibilities and problems that could erupt when you do not have a Living Will or a Health Care Proxy, it is preferable to have either or both.