skip to Main Content

Can a Healthcare Agent Decide Who Visits a Patient?

Can a Healthcare Agent Decide Who Visits a Patient?If you are an agent under a healthcare proxy for a loved one, you may be faced with some difficult questions and issues from time-to-time.

One issue is whether or not you have the authority to restrict or allow visitation of your loved one in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice setting.

If you are acting solely as the agent under a healthcare proxy then you do not have the authority to allow or deny visitation with the principal.

The healthcare proxy law only gives the agent the authority “to make healthcare decisions,” which is limited to the decision to consent or to refuse to consent to health care. The law further defines this as any “treatment, service or procedure to diagnose or treat an individual’s physical or mental condition.”

Oftentimes healthcare providers will interpret health care to encompass decisions like discharge planning. However, the agent is limited in his/her ability to allow or restrict access to the loved one while he or she is a patient.

This means that the agent under a healthcare proxy has no authority to dictate who can or cannot visit or call a patient. In order to have that kind of authority, the agent would need to be appointed by a court as guardian of the personal needs of the loved one.


Eric J. Einhart

Eric J. Einhart
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My uncle got sick because of the chemicals that he handles at work and he wants to be properly compensated because the medical bills are piling up. It was explained here that his health care law can visit him and have a loved one. Moreover, it’s recommended to consult an experienced health care lawyer for the best outcome.

  2. is this specific to state or a universal legality?? I was denied visitation to my father in the ICU from my fathers “power of attorney” aka my aunt who my late father, in his severely delirius state, put her name on a form as someone who could make end of life decisions (probably already assuming my mother and i were able to) that the hospital is claiming was an advanced directive (which again, even if it was, in not valid in my opinion as on the date it was signed he had already been admitted to neurology for severe delirium) but lets say somehow it all checked out and my dad has this advanced directive naming his sister as healthcare proxy/agent/”POA” – she STILL would not have had the authoritiy to deny him and I visitation…. I’m glad I stumbled upon this. thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top