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Finally, Healthcare Decision-Making for the Other 80% of New Yorkers

Posted Feb 26 2010 4:42am
Only around 20% of New Yorkers complete formal advance directives leaving treatment instructions or appointing a healthcare agent.  While most New Yorkers would prefer to forgo aggressive life-sustaining measures at the end of life and while most would prefer to die at home, a great many die in hospitals because there is nobody under state law from whom providers can secure consent to stop.

This week, the state Senate approved the Family Health Care Decisions Act previously approved by the Assembly.  Governor Patterson said that he will sign the bill.  That means, by this summer, there will be default surrogates for in New York just like there are in almost every other jurisdiction in the United States.  Incapacitated patients without a court-appointed guardian or patient-appointed agent, will still have a substitute decision maker.
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