Health care advance directives

S.E.A. 204, P.L. 50
Effective: July 1, 2021

  • Allows an individual to make a health care advance directive that gives instructions or expresses preferences or desires concerning any aspect of the individual’s health care or health information and to designate a health care representative to make health care decisions and receive health information for the individual.
  • Consolidates definitions of “life prolonging procedures”.
  • Requires the state department of health to prepare a sample advance directive.
  • Provides that the appointment of a representative or attorney in fact to consent to health care that was legally executed before January 1, 2023, is valid as executed.
  • Adds definitionsof “notarial officer”, “observe”, “present”, and “telephonic interaction” to allow a mentally competent declarant to sign an advance directive by using technology to interact in real time with a notarial officer or with two attesting witnesses.
  • Specifies certain prerequisites when witnessing specified directives through telephonic interaction.
  • Provides for remote witnessing or signing of separate paper counterparts that are assembled later into a complete composite paper advance directive.
  • Provides that the new health care directive provisions do not affect the consent provisions concerning abortion or a minor’s medical or hospital care and treatment with respect to the minor’s pregnancy, delivery, or postpartum care.
  • Provides that an attending advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant may perform the same functions and have the same responsibilities as an attending physician for purposes of an out of hospital do not resuscitate declaration.

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