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Deciding About Health Care - A Guide for Patients and Families (NYS DOH)

A publication of the New York State Department of Health.

Who should read this guide?

This guide is for New York State patients and for those who will make health care decisions for patients. It contains information about surrogate decision-making in hospitals and nursing homes. It also covers DNR orders in a health care facility, or in the community.

Because this guide is about health care decisionmaking, the word “patient” is used to refer to anyone receiving medical care. This includes a nursing home resident. This guide does not include the special rules for health care decisions made by legal guardians of persons with developmental disabilities.