Health Care Proxy Forms
Each state has its own laws and practices for advance directives which help people make clear in advance what sort of health care they would want, if they became unable to speak for themselves.
In New York State, a health care proxy form (HCP) is the preferred advance directive. A few points to remember:
- it is written so that you can fill it out yourself
- the HCP is a legal document, but you do not need a lawyer to complete one. We suggest discussing its contents with the person you choose to make your decisions (if you become unable to do so) and your doctor.
- when you complete the form, give one copy to your doctor, one to your proxy, and one to the hospital where you are most likely to receive care.
A New York form can be downloaded here (although other forms may be used). To find advance directive forms for all 50 states, visit www.abanet.org.