Health Care Proxy NY
When you have a Health Care Proxy in New York it enables you to choose a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.
What is a Health Care Proxy?
A Health Care Proxy is an important document that provides you with peace of mind. When you create a Health Care Proxy, you know that if something causes the inability for you to make your own decisions, you will have a chosen and trusted person there to act on your behalf.
When you draw up a Health Care Proxy in New York, you are ensuring that you have someone you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you become temporarily or permanently unable to make those decisions yourself. Conditions that would render you unable to make decisions include head injuries, strokes, and dementia. By creating a Health Care Proxy, you get to decide upon an agent to make your medical decisions, as well as an alternate agent in case your primary agent is not available.
If you suffer an illness or injury and your physician deems you unable to decide upon your treatment, a Health Care Proxy is of the utmost importance. You will be able to inform your agent ahead of time of many of your wishes so that they will be best able to make the right decisions for you when the time comes.
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a document you can create to share your healthcare plans should you become unable to share your wishes. With a Living Will, if you have a physical or mental illness or injury that makes you incapable of communicating your desires in regards to medical treatment, your physician will be able to make the right decisions for you. A Living Will is essential if you do not have a Health Care Proxy.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Living Wills and Health Care Proxy?
A Health Care Proxy is a great choice for those who have someone that they can trust to make the right medical decisions for them. With a Health Care Proxy, your agent will be able to make the most important decisions for you according to their understanding of you and their wishes. It is imperative that your chosen agent be someone you trust fully, as they will be making decisions for your recovery, or sometimes, for termination of life support.
If you do not have someone that you trust to be your agent in your Health Care Proxy, you will want to make a Living Will. With a Living Will, you will be able to write out your treatment desires should you become incapable of making decisions. Without a Health Care Proxy, a Living Will is the only way you will be able to voice your choice on your treatment options if you sustain an injury or illness that prevents you from making decisions.
However, there are some disadvantages to having a Living Will instead of a Health Care Proxy. In New York, Living Wills are not governed by a statute, and there is no standard form of interpretation. This means that your will may be interpreted differently than you would want, for as long as evidence appears to point in the direction of your wishes.
It is also difficult to write a Living Will that covers all potential medical decisions. Eventually, your medical care will likely be up for interpretation, if it does not contain directives for your specific circumstances.
While a Health Care Proxy is more desirable in order to receive the medical care that is most in line with your wishes, having a Living Will is better than having nothing at all. If you are unable to obtain a Health Care Proxy, make sure and have a Living Will drafted in order to have a say in your care should your condition make you incapacitated.
Health Care Proxy FAQs
A health care agent will help to assist with unforeseen occurrences when you need care. They are also sometimes referred to as health care proxy, surrogate, or attorney-in-fact. The combination of having a living will and health care agent will help make sure your medical intentions are upheld when you are unable to continue making decisions, as they help doctors follow your living will. Having a health care agent will help prevent family and friends from disagreeing about treatment by putting your trust in one person. It is a good idea to pick a backup agent as well in case your first choice is unavailable to make decisions.
You are most likely unable to choose your doctor to be your health care agent. Otherwise any other adult you trust and can talk to about difficult decisions is acceptable. Family members, friends, religious leaders, and lawyers are options. The person you choose needs to be reliable and willing to discuss topics in-depth, such as life-support.
Appointing a health care agent includes putting his/her name in a health care power of attorney form. This form is also called medical power of attorney or other names depending on what state you live. Usually two witnesses who are not related to you watch you sign and date the document. You can find this document online, at your local or state government offices, and possibly your doctor’s office or hospital. State laws vary, so if you have residences in different states, make sure power of attorney is valid in each state. Be sure to give copies of your health care power of attorney to doctors, family, friends, and backup agent.
When would my health care agent begin to make a health care decision for me?
Your health care agent will make decisions at the point you are no longer able to do so. If you are unable to communicate with your doctors, your agent will step in to make decisions based on your living will, conversations you have had, and previous statements you have made.
What decisions can my health care agent make?
Your health care agent is restricted to making decisions only about health care. Your agent can consent to surgery or deny it. Difficult decisions like refusing life-support machines or taking you off life-support will be up to your health care agent. Decisions about money or other legal issues are not included. Check with your state to confirm what the laws are regarding the decisions allowed.