Legal and Insurance Matters

Health Care Proxy: Appointing Your Health Care Agent in New York State

The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint someone 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. By appointing a health care agent, you can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes. Your agent can also decide how your wishes apply as your medical condition changes. Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must follow your agent’s decisions as if they were your own. You may give the person you select as your health care agent as little or as much authority as you want. You may allow your agent to make all health care decisions or only certain ones. You may also give your agent instructions that he or she has to follow. This form can also be used to document your wishes or instructions with regard to organ and/or tissue donation.
Download a New York Health Care Proxy form and instructions.

Fact Sheet - Advance Directives

More than ever before, people with cancer and their families are being asked to take part in decisions about end-of-life care. Yet, most people still do not discuss end-of-life care at all, even if they are seriously ill. This National Cancer Institute fact sheet provides patients with an outline for thinking about these issues and some guidelines for discussion with their doctors, families, and loved ones. This fact sheet is also designed to help patients understand the medical, legal, and personal choices they may face in the future.

Clinical Trials and Insurance Coverage

As you think about taking part in a clinical trial, you will face the issue of how to cover the costs of care. Even if you have health insurance, your plan may not cover all of the costs related to receiving treatment in a clinical trial. This is because some health insurance companies define clinical trials as "experimental." The National Cancer Institute explains things you can do to get your health insurance to cover a clinical trial.