New Hampshire Healthcare Advance Directive – Surrogacy Provisions

New Hampshire expanded its healthcare advance directive statute (NH RSA § 137-J) in 2015 (updated July 2021) to include a surrogate health care decision-making process. These surrogacy provisions allow a patient’s relatives, in a specific order of priority, to make timely health care decisions, without court involvement, for a period of up to 180 days when no healthcare agent is available or willing to act. While the surrogacy is active, the surrogate decision-maker may make health care decisions for the patient to the same extent as an agent under a durable power of attorney for health care. The surrogacy also will terminate if the patient objects to the person’s appointment, a guardian is appointed, the patient is determined to be near death, or the patient regains decision-making capacity.