senate Bill S4922

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to witnesses to a health care proxy and the crime of forgery in the second degree

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to health
May 01, 2013 referred to health

S4922 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A619
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §2981, Pub Health L; amd §170.10, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A2186
2009-2010: A3787

S4922 - Bill Texts

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Relates to witnesses to a health care proxy; changes the witness requirement for the health care proxy from two adult witnesses to one adult witness; makes an exception for persons who reside in mental health facilities by requiring such persons to have two adult witnesses; also includes falsely making or altering a health care proxy within the crime of forgery in the second degree.

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BILL NUMBER:S4922

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
witnesses to a health care proxy and to amend the penal law, in
relation to the crime of forgery in the second degree

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To change the number of witnesses
required for the appointment of a health care agent by health care
proxy.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends paragraph (a) of
subdivision 2 of section 2981 of the public health law to require one
adult witness present at the signing of a health care proxy, with the
exception of persons residing at mental health facilities licensed by
the state, who will sign health care proxies in the presence of two
adult witnesses.

Section 2 amends the penal law to include a potential violation of
this benefit under the crime of forgery in the second degree.

JUSTIFICATION: Individuals deserve to have their health care wishes
honored, yet a large majority of New York residents do not have a
health care proxy for times when they cannot express their health care
preferences. As a result, their wishes are often unknown, and they
might be given medical treatment that they would not want or not given
treatment that matches their choices. This bill streamlines the
process of assigning a health care proxy by reducing the number of
witnesses required to be present at the signing of the proxy. The
legislation makes an exception for those individuals who are more
vulnerable by maintaining the requirement for two witnesses for
individuals who reside in mental health facilities operated and
licensed by the state. In these instances, the presence of two
witnesses provides protection against exploitation.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.2186 of 2011-2012 A.3787 of 2009-2010
A.10581 of 2007-2008

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4922

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 1, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation  to  witnesses  to  a
  health care proxy and to amend the penal law, in relation to the crime
  of forgery in the second degree

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision  2  of  section  2981  of  the
public  health  law,  as  added  by  chapter 752 of the laws of 1990, is
amended to read as follows:
  (a) A competent adult may appoint a health care agent by a health care
proxy, signed and dated by the adult in the presence of [two] ONE  adult
[witnesses] WITNESS who shall also sign the proxy. HOWEVER, A PERSON WHO
RESIDES  IN  A  FACILITY  OPERATED  OR  LICENSED BY THE OFFICE OF MENTAL
HEALTH OR THE OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL  DISABILITIES,  SHALL
SIGN  SUCH  PROXY  IN THE PRESENCE OF TWO ADULT WITNESSES WHO SHALL ALSO
SIGN THE PROXY.  Another person, WHO SHALL NOT BE A  WITNESS,  may  sign
and  date  the health care proxy for the adult if the adult is unable to
do so, at the adult's direction and in the adult's presence, and in  the
presence  of  [two  adult]  THE  WITNESS OR witnesses who shall sign the
proxy. The WITNESS OR witnesses shall state that the principal  appeared
to  execute  the  proxy  willingly  and  free  from  duress.  The person
appointed as agent shall not act as witness to execution of  the  health
care proxy.
  S  2.  Subdivision 1 of section 170.10 of the penal law, as amended by
chapter 949 of the laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows:
  1. A deed, will, codicil, contract, assignment, commercial instrument,
credit card, as that term is defined in  subdivision  seven  of  section
155.00,  HEALTH  CARE  PROXY  UNDER  ARTICLE TWENTY-NINE-C OF THE PUBLIC
HEALTH LAW, or other instrument which  does  or  may  evidence,  create,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04427-01-3

S. 4922                             2

transfer,  terminate  or otherwise affect a legal right, interest, obli-
gation or status; or
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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