RESULTS: Universally, the condition triggering a proxy to assume decisional authority is the patient’s lack of decisional capacity; however diversity exists among statutorily prescribed order (e.g. “chain”) for appointing “default surrogates.” Other states’ laws list no such order of kinship priority. 34 of 51 states require that surrogates’ appointment follow a designated hierarchical order, beginning with “spouse-child-parent” in 34/34 states but diverging thereafter. Only 4 states delineate a formal extrajudicial process by which interested parties may refute the surrogacy hierarchy. Statutes may call for a surrogate to demonstrate certain qualities such as capacity, availability, willingness to serve, familiarity with patient’s preferences, or may simply stipulate that the surrogate must have reached the age of majority. 14 states restrict health providers from serving as proxies unless they are family members. 3/51 provided no guidance on proxies’ appropriateness.