Updating the Health Care Proxy

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Last year legislation was enacted to allow for organ donation provisions to be included on Health Care Proxies. The Department of Health has now revised the standard Health Care Proxy form in order to accommodate for organ donation provisions. Furthermore, the standard form itself has been altered to allow for the primary agent to be selected and the alternate agent to be selected immediately thereafter (which is more logical).

The organ and/or tissue donation provision specifically states: “I hereby make an anatomical gift, to be effective upon my death, of: (check any that apply) Any needed organs and/or tissues _______ Limitations _________.

If you do not state your wishes or instructions about organ and/or tissue donations on this form, it will not be taken to mean that you do not wish to make a donation or prevent a person, who is otherwise authorized by law, to consent to a donation on your behalf.”

The Health Care Proxy must now be signed twice. The second signature is required immediately after the organ donation provision. The Health Care Proxy must still be signed in front of two disinterested witnesses over the age of eighteen (18) and cannot be one of the selected agents.

Even if a Health Care Proxy is completed and a person has selected to donate his or her organs and/or tissues, it is still recommended that a person complete the back of his or her New York State Driver’s License to accommodate for the same permission of organ and/or tissue donation.

For more information or for a copy of the Department of Health form, please contact Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern or you can access this directly on the Department of Health website.

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