The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint an agent 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. The document legally authorizing that person is called a health care proxy.
A health care proxy is a completely voluntary way to eliminate confusion among loved ones and health care providers about your health care wishes. Hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers must follow the agent's decisions as if they were your own.
Here are a few answers to questions commonly asked about health care proxies: