Gary Coleman's story is a sad story about when your healthcare proxy may or may not follow your wishes according to your living will. CNN reports that in spite of Gary Coleman's living will requesting that he be on life support for at least fifteen days, his designated healthcare proxy Shannon Price pulled the plug after just one day of life support.
Which bring us to a question that you can ask a New York probate attorney:
What Is A Healthcare Proxy?
A healthcare proxy is an individual designated by the patient in a legal document known as a springing durable power of attorney to make healthcare decisions for the patient in the event that the patient becomes unable to make those decisions by him/her self. It only goes into effect after the patient becomes incapacitated. Another possibility in New York is for a patient to sign a Health Care Proxy Form.
The healthcare proxy in New York is able to make all healthcare decisions for you when you can not make them for yourself. However, unless a healthcare proxy reasonably knows your wishes about artificial nutrition and hydration, they can't refuse such treatment.
Another good thing about this form is that even though it is legally binding, a patient does not need a NY estate attorney to fill out the form.
While this may be the case, there are still many people who believe that the selection of a healthcare proxy is serious business. For example, if you select a spouse to be your healthcare proxy and you get divorced, you need to specifically state if you still want him/her to be your healthcare proxy after the fact. Situations can get complicated and sometimes talking to a New York probate attorney can help.
- Gary Coleman's Wife Allegedly Overrode His Living Will (FindLaw's New York Estate Planning News Blog)
- Will Medical Personnel Honor My Health Care Documents? (FindLaw)
- Call A NY Estate Attorney (FindLaw)