I recently attended a seminar in NYC entitled ”Hot topics for solo practice attorneys.” While the journey down there was difficult (3 hours on a bus during a snowstorm) the trip was worth it. Hot topics keep solo practitioners on the cutting edge of the law. This included updates on foreclosure law, elder law and the new “Family Health Care Decision Act.”
This state law which was signed into law on March 16,2010 applies to health care decisions to an incapable patient who does not have a health care agent nor a living will. This law provides a mechanism to establish authorization for a patient’s family or close friend to then make those decisions.
Basically the hospital or facility must now a process to determine if a patient lacks capacity for this purpose and if so the order of priority as to the persons who may act as a surrogate decision maker. Has anyone been involved with this new law? I would like to hear from you. For example, what would occur if a brother or sister, who may have priority is not as capable as a close friend would be to the patient? Thanks for your input.