Director and Facility Staff:

We are pleased that your agency is using the Justice Center’s Surrogate Decision-Making Committee (SDMC) Program services. Careful and complete preparation of a case packet which demonstrates that an individual needs surrogate decision-making for non-emergency major medical treatment or end-of-life decision making will result in a more timely determination.

To effectively demonstrate the procedure is in the best interest of the individual, the case packet should include the following materials:

  1. Completed SDMC forms for:
    • Major Medical Treatment, or
    • End-of-Life Care;
  2. Most recent annual physical examination;
  3. Consultations pertaining to the medical diagnosis and procedure(s) under review, and consultations from any specialist; and
  4. Labs, x-rays, diagnostic tests, physician progress notes, nursing progress notes, hospice intake assessment (where applicable), etc.

For major medical treatment decisions the individual must attend the hearing unless a medical condition prevents attendance. If an end-of-life care decision is sought, the individual is not required to attend the hearing but may do so. If the individual is unable to attend, a panel member will visit the individual prior to the hearing. The individual’s medical record must be brought to the hearing. Staff familiar with both the general functioning ability, family history (if known), and medical condition of the individual should attend the hearing to answer questions raised by the panel.

The completed case packet should be sent to: NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, SDMC Program, 401 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305. If you are instructed to fax an expedited case packet, please do not mail the original. Should a case need to be withdrawn, please contact our office directly.

Please do not hesitate to contact SDMC staff if you have questions or concerns at (518) 549-0328 or by email at SDMC@justicecenter.ny.gov.

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