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Surrogate decision-making committees and panels; organization
Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE E, ARTICLE 80
§ 80.05 Surrogate decision-making committees and panels; organization.

(a) Surrogate decision-making committees of at least twelve persons
shall be established by the commission in geographic areas of the state,
as may be designated by the commission. A committee designated after
April first, nineteen hundred eighty-eight shall not accept applications
for review pursuant to this article until April first, nineteen hundred
eighty-nine and within appropriations made therefor.

(b) The members shall be appointed by the commission. The commission
shall designate one member of each of the committees to serve as
chairperson, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission. Members
appointed as of July thirty-first, nineteen hundred ninety shall serve
for terms expiring on July thirty-first, nineteen hundred ninety-one.
Upon expiration of such terms, such members may be appointed for terms
of two years commencing on August first, nineteen hundred ninety-one.
Any additional members and members appointed due to vacancies shall be
appointed for terms of two years commencing on the date of completion of
training by the commission. Members may be reappointed for additional
two year terms of office but the provisions of section five of the
public officers law shall not apply to such members. The commission may
assign a committee member to serve on an additional committee or
committees as deemed necessary or appropriate by the commission.

(c) Members of the committee and panel shall include members from each
of the following groups:

(i) physicians, nurses, psychologists, or other health care
professionals licensed by the state of New York; (ii) former patients or
parents, spouses, adult children, siblings or advocates of mentally
disabled persons; (iii) attorneys admitted to the practice of law in New
York state; and (iv) other persons with recognized expertise or
demonstrated interest in care and treatment of mentally disabled

(d) A member who has failed to attend three consecutive meetings of
the committee or panel to which the member has been appointed shall be
considered to have vacated his or her office unless the commission
determines that the absences should be excused. The members shall be
reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses and shall be
considered public officers for the purpose of sections seventeen,
nineteen and seventy-four of the public officers law.

(e) The committees shall have available to them such staff and
assistance as may be deemed necessary by the commission. In providing
for such staff and assistance, the commission may enter into agreements
with nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to community
dispute resolution centers authorized under article twenty-one-A of the
judiciary law, and the staff of such organizations in carrying out such
functions shall be considered public officers for the purpose of
sections seventeen, nineteen and seventy-four of the public officers
law. Provided, however, the commission may not delegate pursuant to such
agreements responsibility for the appointment of members to serve on
surrogate decision-making committees, the training of any such members,
the review of declarations, maintenance of the record of the hearing and
original file, and general oversight of panel activities. Any
information, books, records, or data which are confidential as provided
for by law, received by such an organization pursuant to an agreement
with the commission, shall be kept confidential by the organization, and
any limitations on the further release thereof, imposed by law upon the
party furnishing the information, books, records or data, shall apply to
the organization.

(f) Each surrogate decision-making committee shall undertake its
responsibilities through panels composed of four of its members. The
chairman of each committee or his or her designee shall designate the
chairman of the panel who shall serve at the pleasure of the committee
chairman or his or her designee.

(g) A panel shall be convened as often as deemed necessary by the
chairman of the committee or his or her designee to assure timely review
of pending declarations; provided, however, that neither article six nor
article seven of the public officers law shall apply to the conduct of
such committee or panel. The proceedings of the panel may be conducted
with only three persons. Provided, however, if a panel chairperson
receives reasonable notice that a panel member will not be able to
attend a panel hearing, such chairperson or his or her designee shall
undertake efforts to identify another appropriate member of the
committee to serve on such panel.

(h) No member who is a provider of health services or an officer or
employee of any provider of health services to a patient whose case is
under consideration by a panel may serve with respect to such patient.