Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Surrogate Decision Making Law in NH Part 2: Be Proactive

In our previous post we summarized the details associated with a new surrogate decision-making law in NH.

This new law is helpful because it does provide for an alternative, other than court, to family members and friends of a loved one who has not executed his or her health care power of attorney.

Nonetheless, the best option is being proactive. 

Being proactive means executing a health care power of attorney when you are competent, in which you choose the agent (s), you want to act on your behalf when you are no longer able to make health care decisions for yourself. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Surrogate Decision Making Law in NH

New Hampshire now has a law that allows surrogate decision making with respect to health care issues.

The purpose of the law is to ensure that health care decisions can be made in a timely manner by a person’s next of kin or loved one without involving court action. Basically, the new law establishes a surrogate decision maker for health care decisions when there is no valid advanced directive or guardian in place.

There are some things to think about with respect to the legislation.
  • When choosing a surrogate decision maker, the physician or APRN must follow a certain priority list. Your choice for a health care agent to make health care decisions for you may be different than the person on top of the priority list.
  • It should also be noted that if your children are the surrogate decision makers and they can’t agree, then the majority of them who do agree rule. However, if one of them initiates a guardianship, then none of your children will be recognized as a decision maker for you.
  • Also, the authority of the surrogate decision maker terminates after 90 days. The law doesn’t say what happens after that…