A health care proxy is a legal document used in the United States that allows an agent to make health care decisions in the event that the primary individual is incapable of executing such decisions.
The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint someone you trust — for example, a family member or close friend — to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. By appointing a health care agent, you can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes.
Your agent can also decide how your wishes apply as your medical condition changes. Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must follow your agent's decisions as if they were your own. You may give the person you select as your health care agent as little or as much authority as you want. You may allow your agent to make all health care decisions or only certain ones. You may also give your agent instructions that he or she has to follow. This form can also be used to document your wishes or instructions with regard to organ and/or tissue donation.