Letter to Providers: Family Health Care Decisions Act

August 31, 2010

Dear Colleague:

A New York State law that went into effect June 1, 2010, the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA), provides legal authority for surrogate consent to any type of health care decision for patients who cannot make their own decisions and have not signed health care proxies. The FHCDA applies to persons living with HIV/AIDS when they are in a general hospital or a nursing home.

Attached is an "AIDS Institute Fact Sheet: The Family Health Care Decisions Act and HIV/AIDS". This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the FHCDA and clarifies specific aspects of the FHCDA related to HIV/AIDS.

Specific questions pertaining to the FHCDA as it relates to HIV/AIDS can be directed as follows:

  • Clinical questions: Lyn C. Stevens, MS, NP, ACRN; New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute; at (518) 473-8815 or e-mail lcs02@health.state.ny.us
  • Legal questions: Jonathan Karmel; New York State Department of Health Division of Legal Affairs; at (518) 473-3303 or e-mail regsqna@health.state.ny.us

Please make the Fact Sheet available to staff and make "Deciding About Health Care: A Guide for Patients and Families" available to patients/clients with HIV/AIDS, as appropriate.

Humberto Cruz
Director, AIDS Institute