Everyone over 18 should fill out an advance care medical directive, which legally gives the authority to someone named in the document to make health care decisions in case someone cannot make their own health care decisions.  Included in this section are advance care directives for many states.  We also often receive requests for help in situations where health care facilities are not accommodating the health care wishes of a patient and the patient’s family, and sometimes about cases where there is a dispute within a family over what medical care to provide to a family member.  For these situations, Agudath Israel helped create Chayim Aruchim, an organization dedicated to helping 24/7 with these types of issues. For more information or further resources, please visit Chayim Aruchim or call 718-278-2446 for their 24-hour hotline.

Medical Directives

To download the Medical Directive for your state, please click on the correct link below.

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
New Jersey
New York
Ohio
Ontario
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Quebec
South Carolina
Texas
Virginia
Wisconsin

Helping to Ensure Proper Jewish Burials and Preventing Cremations

We sometimes receive calls regarding cremation, where someone Jewish has died and someone involved seeks to cremate the body rather than arrange for a proper Jewish burial. In some cases, someone involved seeks to bury the body in a non-Jewish cemetery, or in some other way that is contrary to halacha. Unless the decedent left clear legally binding instructions as to who should be in charge of his or her remains, each state has laws dictating who has that responsibility, which can sometimes be helpful in enabling those seeking a proper Jewish burial to prevail.  Here is a very useful summary of the relevant statutes.

Legal Cases and Briefs

Here are amicus briefs, court decisions, and other information about important patient’s rights, health care, and end of life matters we have been involved with.

Betancourt Patient’s Rights Amicus Brief

Health Care Patient’s Rights Court Decision: In re Lee Kahan

Nakar v. New York Presbyterian Hospital Court Decision

Article on End of Life Law in New York

Amicus Brief Filed Opposing Legalizing Suicide Press Release

Amicus Brief Filed Opposing Legalizing Suicide

Court of Appeals Rejects Legalizing Suicide

Amicus Brief in Cruzan v. Missouri Patient’s Rights Case

Amicus Brief in Vacco v. Quill Assisted Suicide Case