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Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE E, ARTICLE 80
§ 80.03 Definitions.

When used in this article:

(a) "Major medical treatment" means a medical, surgical or diagnostic
intervention or procedures where a general anesthetic is used or which
involves any significant risk or any significant invasion of bodily
integrity requiring an incision or producing substantial pain,
discomfort, debilitation or having a significant recovery period. Such
term does not include: any routine diagnosis or treatment such as the
administration of medications other than chemotherapy for
non-psychiatric conditions or nutrition or the extraction of bodily
fluids for analysis; electroconvulsive therapy; dental care performed
with a local anesthetic; any procedures which are provided under
emergency circumstances, pursuant to section twenty-five hundred four of
the public health law; the withdrawal or discontinuance of medical
treatment which is sustaining life functions; or sterilization or the
termination of a pregnancy.

(b) "A patient in need of surrogate decision-making" means a patient
as defined in subdivision twenty-three of section 1.03 of this chapter
who is: a resident of a mental hygiene facility including a resident of
housing programs funded by an office of the department or whose federal
funding application was approved by an office of the department or for
whom such facility maintains legal admission status therefor; or,
receiving home and community-based services for persons with mental
disabilities provided pursuant to section 1915 or 1115 of the federal
social security act; or receiving individualized support services; or,
case management or service coordination funded, approved, or provided by
the office for people with developmental disabilities; and, for whom
major medical treatment is proposed, and who is determined by the
surrogate decision-making committee to lack the ability to consent to or
refuse such treatment, but shall not include minors with parents or
persons with legal guardians, committees or conservators who are legally
authorized, available and willing to make such health care decisions.
Once a person is eligible for surrogate decision-making, such person may
continue to receive surrogate decision-making as authorized by this
section regardless of a change in residential status.

(c) "Lack of ability to consent to or refuse major medical treatment"
means the patient cannot adequately understand and appreciate the nature
and consequences of a proposed major medical treatment, including the
benefits and risks of and alternatives to such treatment, and cannot
thereby reach an informed decision to consent to or to refuse such
treatment in a knowing and voluntary manner that promotes the patient's

(d) "Best interests" means promoting personal well-being by the
assessment of the risks, benefits and alternatives to the patient of a
proposed major medical treatment, taking into account factors including
the relief of suffering, the preservation or restoration of functioning,
improvement in the quality of the patient's life with and without the
proposed major medical treatment and consistency with the personal
beliefs and values known to be held by the patient.

(e) "Surrogate decision-making committee" means a committee of at
least twelve persons established pursuant to section 80.05 of this

(f) "Panel" means a subcommittee of four members of the surrogate
decision-making committee.

(g) "Commission" means the commission on quality of care and advocacy
for persons with disabilities.

(h) "Providers of health services" means, for the purposes of this
article, those defined in subdivisions five and six of section 1.03 of
this chapter; hospitals, as defined pursuant to article twenty-eight of
the public health law; physicians and dentists.

(i) "Declarant" means a person who submits a declaration pursuant to
the provisions of this article and may include any provider of health
services, the director of the patient's residential facility or a
relative or correspondent of the patient.

(j) "Declaration" means a written statement submitted in accordance
with section 80.07 of this article.

(k) "Correspondent" means a person who has demonstrated a genuine
interest in promoting the best interests of the patient by having a
personal relationship with the patient, by participating in the
patient's care and treatment, by regularly visiting the patient, or by
regularly communicating with the patient.