Health Care Directives

All adults should execute a Health Care Proxy and Living Will. A Health Care Proxy designates an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf when you, either temporarily or permanently, can no longer make those decisions for yourself. Most people appoint a family member or close friend that is familiar with their wishes to serve as their health care agent.

Without a Health Care Proxy, your family members will not be able to make important medical decisions on your behalf, such as refusing treatment or making decisions regarding the use of life support. Your Health Care Proxy is one of the first documents you will be asked for in the event you are rushed to the emergency room. Multiple copies of these documents should be executed and be readily available to you and the agent that you designate.

You should execute a Living Will simultaneously with your Health Care Proxy. A Living Will is a clear and more detailed declaration of your wishes regarding medical treatment and allows you to maintain as much control as possible over your medical care. A Health Care Proxy and Living Will should be executed together because under the laws of the State of New York, only the Agent designated in your Health Care Proxy has the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.

Health Care Proxies are specifically authorized by New York State Law. Thus, a Living Will, which is a clear declaration of your wishes, is more likely to be honored in another state. For individuals that maintain a residence in another state, you should discuss with your attorney the need to execute state specific documents.

These documents should not be confused with DNR’s (Do Not Resuscitate). DNR’s are specifically ordered by your attending physician and apply only to the use of CPR.

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393 Old Country Rd Suite 203 Carle Place, NY 11514  |  Phone: 516.538.9700
1441 Broadway Suite 5019 New York, NY 10018  |  Phone: 646.569.5523