If you live in New York, you should know about the state’s Health Care Proxy Law. Under this law, you can appoint a trusted person such as a friend or family member to make health care decisions on your behalf if you can no longer do so. If you’re wondering, “Do I need a health care proxy?” we explain here!
What Does a Health Care Proxy Do?
When you have a health care proxy, he or she will make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Your doctor makes the determination that you cannot make your own health care decisions because of grave illness or injury.
If you have documented the types of health care you would like to receive in this situation, the proxy must abide by your wishes. In addition, your doctors must follow your proxy’s decisions in situations where they would otherwise follow yours.
What Types of Decisions Does the Health Care Proxy Make?
In New York, you submit a health care proxy form that establishes your proxy. You can also use this legal document to detail the type of care you would like to have. The proxy cannot make decisions about artificial nutrition and hydration such as a feeding tube unless you specify in this document.
Who Should Have a Health Care Proxy?
You should not wait until you are ill or very sick to establish a health care proxy. If you have an accident or an unexpected medical issue, your family may experience confusion about how to proceed if you cannot make your own decisions.
If you recover, the power of your health care proxy ends. You can once again make your own medical decisions just as you would before you become incapacitated.
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