Problems often arise when loved ones disagree about what treatment is proper. Sometimes these disagreements end up in court and a judge, who has little medical knowledge and no familiarity with you, becomes the decision maker. These legal battles are costly, time-consuming and take an emotional toll on all who are involved. These legal battles are eliminated if you express your wishes by completing advance directives.
In NYS, a health care proxy/agent that you appoint has the full legal authority to make treatment decisions if you are unable to make a decision for yourself. Appointing someone to make decisions lets you control your medical treatment by: (1) empowering your proxy/agent to make health care decisions on your behalf as you would want them made; (2) choosing one person (and an alternate) to make health care decisions because you think that person would make decisions that are in your best interest; (3) choosing one person to avoid conflict or confusion among family members and those closest to you.