A health care proxy is a specific kind of legal document New Jersey residents can use to ensure their health care wishes are met. These documents must comply with New Jersey law and can only be made by adults of sound mind. Talk to a New Jersey attorney if you need legal advice about New Jersey health care proxies.
A health care proxy, also known as a medical proxy, proxy directive or health care power of attorney, is one way to make sure that your health care wishes are met when you are no longer able to express yourself. A health care proxy is the person you designate who can make these decisions for you. You can only designate a health care proxy through a document. You must sign the document, date it and do so in the presence of two adult witnesses or a public notary, attorney or official qualified to administer oaths.
Your health care proxy has the right to make medical decisions when you no longer can, and his decisions must be followed by your doctors or health care provider in the same manner as if you made them yourself. Your proxy can decide to accept or reject life-sustaining treatments, tests or drugs and can demand to be shown your medical histories or other information.
New Jersey also allows citizens to create a living will, although they are generally referred to as "instructive directives" in this state. These documents serve many of the same purposes as a health care proxy, but instead of giving someone else the right to make decisions, you detail what your desires are in the living will. These documents must also be made according to state requirements and can be as detailed as you desire.
New Jersey also allows you to create both a health care proxy and a living will. A combined directive is a document that includes both a written declaration of your desires and names someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf. Combined directives not only allow you to state your desires clearly, but also give you the ability to choose a proxy to make decisions that aren't specifically addressed.