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If my loved one is listed as a surrogate in the Family Health Care Decisions Act, do I still need to complete a Health Care Proxy?

The person this law designates as the one who can make decisions on your behalf may not be the person you would trust to follow your wishes or honor your values. For example, maybe you know your spouse would never be able to tell the doctor to let you go, no matter how strongly you have told them that is your wish. Or maybe you don’t have a spouse, so a child, parent, or sibling will be the one with the authority to decide. But what if you have more than one child or sibling, and they disagree with each other? What if the medical team has trouble connecting to someone on this list, so they keep going down the list past the person you would have wanted to make decisions for you? In addition, it is more difficult, in general, to make decisions regarding withholding or withdrawing life sustaining treatments. For many reasons, it is better to complete a Health Care Proxy Form rather than have your decision-maker determined by this law.

In New York, this is the most important form to complete, so we will cover how to complete each section of the form.

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