The Surrogate Decision Making Committee (SDMC) is in need of volunteers across NYS to help make medical decisions for individuals who lack capacity.  SDMC uses specially trained volunteers to review cases regarding a person’s capacity and need for treatment and then renders a decision at a quasi-judicial hearing. The four person panel reviews each individual case and takes testimony regarding the individual’s capacity, the availability of a surrogate decision-maker, and the need for treatment.

Panel members are volunteers from the following categories:
•    NYS Licensed Health Care Professional (e.g., physician, nurse, licensed social worker)
•    NYS Attorney
•    Family member or former service recipient
•    Advocate for persons with disabilities (e.g., persons with demonstrated interest in the care and treatment or individuals with behavioral health or developmental disabilities)

The SDMC program provides training free of charge to all SDMC volunteers at various locations around the state. Travel expenses for training and hearing participation are reimbursed.

SDMC hearings are held during the day and volunteers may decide which weekdays and times they are available to serve on local hearings.  

Please consider this public service which assists New Yorkers with disabilities obtain quality medical treatment decisions.  Your service can make a difference in someone’s life.

Frequently Asked Questions –Information for Prospective Volunteer Panelists

SDMC Panel Member Application Form