Health Care Proxies
Imagine you were in a severe accident or became so gravely ill that you couldn’t express your healthcare wishes properly. In this situation, who would make your health care decisions that aligned with your own wishes? Fortunately, New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to legally appoint someone you trust to make sure that health care providers follow your wishes. Through a health care proxy, you can govern all health care decisions and dictate the level of authority that you health care agent has.
Nonetheless, when creating your health care proxies, it can be extremely helpful to have a New York health care proxy attorney to provide comprehensive legal guidance and ensure that your proxy is complete and that it covers all potential health care situations that may arise.
Completing the Health Care Proxy Form
There are two general situations in which a health care agent may be required. The first situation is where you sustain a temporary inability to make healthcare decisions. For example, if you have surgery and are under anesthesia, and an unexpected event occurs and you need a health care decision, a health care proxy can ensure that the doctors, physicians, and surgeons follow your wishes. The second situation is where you acquire a permanent inability to make healthcare decisions. For instance, you are rendered comatose from a serious illness, in a permanent vegetative state, unable to communicate from an illness, or suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The New York Health Care Proxy Form allows you to express your wishes, whether for temporary or permanent incapacitation. To do this, you specifically choose your agent and detail your wishes in clear and convincing language. Unless otherwise specified, your agent will be able to start making decisions once your doctor determines that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Other essential pieces of information regarding your Health Care Proxy form include:
- Be wary of choosing a doctor or staff at a nursing home to be your agent; there are often restrictions in these cases.
- You can choose specific treatments that you would or wouldn’t want in specific situations.
- If you have named a spouse as your agent and you become legally divorced or separated, the former spouse cannot legally be your agent unless otherwise specified.
- After signing the form, you can still make all healthcare decisions as long as you are able to do so. As such, treatment cannot be given to you if you object, nor will your agent have power to object.
- You can cancel authority of your agent via orally or through writing (writing is always the preferred method, however).
Contact New York’s Leading Health Care Proxy Lawyers
The actual language used in your proxy needs to be exceedingly clear. A good example of clear writing would be, “If I become terminally ill, I don’t want the follow treatments…” By including specific treatments, you have provided the conditional terminology necessary to enforce your wishes. Moreover, it is a good idea to fully consider a wide range of situations that you may want specific treatments for, such as electric shock therapy, artificial hydration and nutrition, surgical procedures, sterilization, and so forth.
To ensure a comprehensive and fully detailed health care proxy, as well as legal representation for when you need to enact your healthcare wishes, contact the foremost health care proxy attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier today. Call our Manhattan law office at (212) 777-9400 for a free consultation.