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Family Health Care Decisions Act

On June 1, 2010, the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) went into effect in New York State. The FHCDA establishes the authority of a patient’s family member or close friend to make medical treatment decisions for the patient in the event the patient lacks capacity to make such decisions personally, and did not previously sign health care proxies or appoint a health care agent.

Please note the surrogate decision-making provisions of the FHCDA do no apply in psychiatric units of general hospitals.  Pursuant to Article 29-B of the Public Health Law, surrogates are authorized to make only DNR decisions for patients who lack capacity in psychiatric units licensed under the Mental Hygiene Law.

For more information on the FHCDA, please read “Deciding About Health Care – A Guide for Patients and Families” or visit the following sites:

NYS Bar Association: Family Health Care Decisions Act Information Center

Your Rights as a Hospital Patient in New York State