NH Surrogate Decision Maker Law

New Hampshire’s “Surrogate Decision Maker Law” amends RSA 137-J — the state’s advance directive statute — and creates a hierarchical list of family members/friends who may make health care decisions for patients in certain situations for a limited time period. 

Advanced Directives Hierarchy

A surrogate decision – maker may be identified to make medical decisions on behalf of a patient in the following order of priority:

  1. The patient’s spouse, or civil union partner or common law spouse unless there is a divorce proceeding, separation agreement, or restraining order limiting that person’s relationship with the patient.
  2. Any adult son or daughter of the patient.
  3. Either parent of the patient.
  4. Any adult brother or sister of the patient.
  5. Any adult grandchild of the patient.
  6. Any grandparent of the patient.
  7. Any adult aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of the patient.
  8. A close friend of the patient. *
  9. The agent with financial power of attorney or a conservator appointed in accordance with RSA 464 – A.
  10. The guardian of the patient’s estate.