Family Healthcare Decisions Act Resource Center

Updated January 2019*

New York's Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) establishes the authority of a patient's family member or close friend to make health care decisions for the patient in cases where the patient lacks decisional capacity and did not leave prior instructions or appoint a health care agent.  This "surrogate" decision-maker would also be empowered to direct the withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining treatment when standards set forth in the statute are satisfied.

The key provisions of the FHCDA became effective on June 1, 2010.

The FHCDA Information Center is a project of the NYSBA Health Law Section.  It is designed as a resource for all persons who are seeking information about the FHCDA - including health care professionals, health care attorneys, advocacy groups, policymakers and members of the public..

1. Summary of Key Provisions of the FHCDA*  (PDF)

2. Text of the FHCDA* (PDF)

3. Summary of Amendments since enactment in 2010

4. Frequently Asked Questions

5. Related Laws and Regulations*

6. NYS Department of Health Materials

7. NYS Task Force on Life and the Law Reports relating to the FHCDA

8. List of Legal Journal Articles  about the FHCDA (with links to NYSBA Bar Journal and NYSBA Health Law Journal articles)**

9. Surrogate Decision-Making for Incapable Adult Patients with Mental Disabilities: A Chart of the Applicable Laws and Regulations* (PDF) (Revised as of March 2, 2011) 

10. End of Life Decisions - The Law in New York: A 30 minute video primer by Robert N. Swidler, Editor, NYSBA Family Healthcare Decisions Act Resource Center.     

* Updated January 28, 2019
** Added January 29, 2019