2001-H 6188
Enacted 07/13/2001

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Introduced By:  Representative Ginaitt Date Introduced:  March 8, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 23-4.10-1.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-4.10 entitled "Health Care Power of Attorney" is hereby amended to read as follows:

23-4.10-1.1. Definitions -- The following definitions shall govern the construction of this chapter:

(1) "Advance directive protocol" means a standardized, state-wide method developed for emergency service personnel by the department of health and approved by the ambulance service advisory board, of providing palliative care to, and withholding life-sustaining procedures from, a qualified patient.

(2) "Artificial feeding" means the provision of nutrition or hydration by parenteral, nasogastric, gastric, or any means other than through per oral voluntary sustenance.

(3) "Attending physician" means the physician who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.

(4) "Director" means the director of health.

(5) "Durable power of attorney" means a witnessed document executed in accordance with the requirements of section 23-4.10-2.

(6) "Emergency medical services personnel" means paid or volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, first responders, emergency medical technicians, or other emergency services personnel acting within the ordinary course of their professions.

(7) "Health-care provider" means a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the law of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.

(8) "Life-sustaining procedure" means any medical procedure or intervention that, when administered to a patient, will serve only to prolong the dying process. "Life-sustaining procedure" shall not include any medical procedure or intervention considered necessary by the attending physician or emergency service personnel to provide comfort, care or alleviate pain.

(9) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or any other legal entity.

(10) "Physician and/or doctor" means an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state.

(11) "Terminal condition" means an incurable or irreversible condition that, without the administration of life-sustaining procedures, will, in the opinion of the attending physician, result in death within a relatively short time.

SECTION 2. Section 23-4.11-3 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-4.11 entitled "Rights of the Terminally Ill Act" is hereby amended to read as follows:

23-4.11-3. Declaration relating to use of life sustaining procedures -- (a) A competent individual eighteen (18) years of age or older may at any time execute a declaration governing the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures. The declaration must be signed by the declarant, or another at the declarant's direction in the presence of two (2) subscribing witnesses who are not related to the declarant by blood or marriage. (b) A physician or other health care provider who is provided a copy of the declaration shall make it a part of the declarant's medical record. (c) A declaration has operative effect only when: (1) The declaration is communicated to the attending physician; (2) The declarant is determined by the attending physician to be in a terminal condition; and (3) The declarant is unable to make treatment decisions. (d) A declaration may, but need not, be in the following form:

DECLARATION I, __________________________, being of sound mind willfully and voluntarily make known my desire that my dying shall not be artificially prolonged under the circumstances set forth below, do hereby declare: If I should have an incurable or irreversible condition that will cause my death within a relatively short time, and if I am unable to make decisions regarding my medical treatment, I direct my attending physician to withhold or withdraw procedures that merely prolong the dying process and are not necessary to my comfort, or to alleviate pain. This authorization includes ( ) does not include ( ) the withholding or withdrawal of artificial feeding (check only one box above). Signed this __________ day of __________________,______________.

______________________________________________________________________ Signature

______________________________________________________________________ Address

The declarant is personally known to me and voluntarily signed this document in my presence.





SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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