Creating a Healthcare Proxy that indicates your desire for Jewish Law (halacha) to be followed can turn out to be a valuable gift for your family.
You will have the peace of mind that your family and loved ones will know what you want to happen if you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions. This may prevent arguments and harsh words if your family members have different ideas about religion as it applies to healthcare decisions.
This page shares free, publicly available information on creating your own Halachic Healthcare Proxy. I have gathered and arranged them for you to make the process easier and more accessible.
Web resources related to Halachic Healthcare Proxies:
- Failing to Prepare is Preparing Your Family to Fail an article by the OU.
- Halachic Guidelines to Assist Patients and their Families in Making “End-of-Life” Medical Decisions, thru the RCA.
- Information about the Online Registry for Health Care Directives through the OU.
Decide and Document:
1. Who do you want to make healthcare decisions for you if you can’t? This role can be called “proxy” or “healthcare power of attorney” or “agent”. Proxies should be people you trust to follow your wishes and consult with the religious authority you choose. Additional considerations – someone with a medical background and/or is geographically close to you can be helpful.
2. Who are your alternates if the first (and second) person is unavailable? Many people will name their spouse, but if you are in a car accident while traveling together, your spouse may not be able to help you.
3. Who will be your halachic authority? Generally, this will be your Rabbi. You can also name an alternate, if your first is not available or able to help your Proxy.
- RCA Halachic Health Care Proxy form – The RCA’s version – a PDF that you download, print and enter your choices on pages 3-5. -OR-
- Advance Directive form for New Jersey (if in New Jersey) – The Agudath Israel’s version – a PDF that you download, print and enter your choices on pages 4-8. It also includes a wallet card on page 9 – consider laminating it to protect it and help it be noticeable.
In front of two witnesses who are not named as one of your Proxies and are not your doctor or other medical professionals, sign your:
- Proxy Designations and Halachic Living Will
If you are in New Jersey, you can sign documents in front of a notary instead of two witnesses.
Distribute & Discuss:
- Your Halachic Health Proxy/Advance Directives to the people named in them (your Proxies and Rabbis designated for Halachic consultation), as well as all Medical Professionals who may manage your treatment.
There is tremendous value in giving your loved ones the gift of peace and certainty of knowing your wishes. Get started with these documents. Please contact me if you are ready to do more planning.
I help people plan for the care and protection of their loved ones if they are unable to do so, even if just temporarily. I believe that if you know what you want to give your children, community, and society, as well as what you want to leave behind, you live a richer life. ~ Secure Your Legacy, Enrich Your Life. ~ Contact me today to learn more.
Disclaimer: This information is given for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer until or unless we have a signed engagement agreement. You have to find your own local lawyer to get legal advice on your specific situation.