Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 4.11
Rights of the Terminally Ill Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-4.11-2

§ 23-4.11-2. Definitions.

The following definitions govern the construction of this chapter:

(1) “Advance directive protocol” means a standardized, state-wide method developed for emergency medical services 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) “Declaration” means a witnessed document executed in accordance with the requirements of § 23-4.11-3 or § 23-4.11-3.1.

(5) “Director” means the director of health.

(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) “Healthcare decision maker” means a person authorized by law or by the qualified patient to make healthcare decisions for the qualified patient. The qualified patient may revoke at any time and in any manner the appointment of a healthcare decision maker.

(8) “Healthcare 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.

(9) “Life sustaining procedure” means any medical procedure or intervention that, when administered to a qualified 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 to provide comfort and care or alleviate pain.

(10) “Medical orders for life sustaining treatment” or “MOLST” means a voluntary request that directs a healthcare provider regarding resuscitative and life-sustaining measures.

(11) “Medical orders for life sustaining treatment form” or “MOLST Form” means a document which directs healthcare providers regarding resuscitative and life-sustaining measures.

(12) “MOLST qualified healthcare provider” means the physician, registered nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who is authorized by the patient to sign a MOLST form.

(13) “Physician assistant” shall mean a person licensed as a physician assistant under chapter 54 of title 5.

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

(15) “Physician” means an individual licensed to practice medicine under § 5-37-1(13).

(16) “Qualified patient” means a patient who has executed a declaration in accordance with this chapter and who has been determined by the attending physician to be in a terminal condition.

(17) “Registered nurse practitioner” shall mean a person licensed as such under chapter 34 of title 5.

(18) “Reliable documentation” means a standardized, state-wide form of identification such as a nontransferable necklace or bracelet of uniform design, adopted by the director of health, with consultation from the local community emergency medical services agencies and licensed hospice and home health agencies, that signifies and certifies that a valid and current declaration is on file and that the individual is a qualified patient.

(19) “Request regarding resuscitative and life sustaining measures” means a written document, signed by:

(i) A qualified patient with capacity, or a recognized healthcare decision maker; and

(ii) The MOLST qualified healthcare provider, which directs a healthcare provider regarding resuscitative and life sustaining measures. Such a request regarding resuscitative and life sustaining measures is a medical order.

(20) “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.

History of Section.
P.L. 1991, ch. 166, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 308, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 324, § 5; P.L. 1992, ch. 443, § 3; P.L. 1998, ch. 337, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 187, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 199, § 1.