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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Legislative findings and purpose
Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE E, ARTICLE 80
§ 80.01 Legislative findings and purpose.

The legislature hereby finds and declares that timely access to health
care for people who are mentally disabled is an important objective for
New York state; that the autonomy of persons with decision-making
capacity to make health care decisions for themselves must be respected;
and that, in cases involving persons with impaired decision-making
capacity, efforts should be made to ensure that health care decisions
are based on the best interests of the patient and reflect, to the
extent possible, the patient's own personal beliefs and values. The
legislature further finds that the exclusive utilization of judicial
authorization to obtain consent for medical care for the mentally
disabled has in some cases resulted in undue delay in the provision of
necessary care, needlessly jeopardizing the health of the mentally
disabled. The legislature further finds and declares that the public
interest will be served by the establishment of a statewide
quasi-judicial surrogate decision-making process, which would determine
patient capacity to consent to or refuse medical treatment and assess
whether the proposed treatment promotes the patient's best interests,
consistent with the patient's values and preferences. The process will
strengthen the surrogate decision-making role of parents and other
family members, while assuring that those individuals without available
family members have access to medical care.