Alicia M. Dodge, Albany Government Law Review Member
On March 16, 2010, the former New York State Governor Paterson signed into law New York’s Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA), effective June 1, 2010. Through the enactment of the FHCDA, New York became the forty-ninth state to pass a “surrogate decision-making statute.” The FHCDA sets forth a list of persons who are deemed authorized to make health care decisions, including the decision to terminate life support for a patient without a health care proxy, who now lacks the capacity to make health care decisions. Prior to the enactment of the FHCDA, New York State law regarding end-of-life decision-making was well-established, and had been relatively uniform for the past twenty-five years. With the passage of the FHCDA, the precedent was greatly changed.