327E-2 Definitions. Whenever used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Advance health-care directive" means an individual instruction or a power of attorney for health care.

"Agent" means an individual designated in a power of attorney for health care to make a health-care decision for the individual granting the power.

"Best interest" means that the benefits to the individual resulting from a treatment outweigh the burdens to the individual resulting from that treatment and shall include:

(1) The effect of the treatment on the physical, emotional, and cognitive functions of the patient;

(2) The degree of physical pain or discomfort caused to the individual by the treatment or the withholding or withdrawal of the treatment;

(3) The degree to which the individual's medical condition, the treatment, or the withholding or withdrawal of treatment, results in a severe and continuing impairment;

(4) The effect of the treatment on the life expectancy of the patient;

(5) The prognosis of the patient for recovery, with and without the treatment;

(6) The risks, side effects, and benefits of the treatment or the withholding of treatment; and

(7) The religious beliefs and basic values of the individual receiving treatment, to the extent that these may assist the surrogate decision-maker in determining benefits and burdens.

"Capacity" means an individual's ability to understand the significant benefits, risks, and alternatives to proposed health care and to make and communicate a health-care decision.

"Emancipated minor" means a person under eighteen years of age who is totally self-supporting.

"Guardian" means a judicially appointed guardian having authority to make a health-care decision for an individual.

"Health care" means any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or otherwise affect an individual's physical or mental condition, including:

(1) Selection and discharge of health-care providers and institutions;

(2) Approval or disapproval of diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, programs of medication, and orders not to resuscitate; and

(3) Direction to provide, withhold, or withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration; provided that withholding or withdrawing artificial nutrition or hydration is in accord with generally accepted health care standards applicable to health-care providers or institutions.

"Health-care decision" means a decision made by an individual or the individual's agent, guardian, or surrogate, regarding the individual's health care.

"Health-care institution" means an institution, facility, or agency licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business.

"Health-care provider" means an individual licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.

"Individual instruction" means an individual's direction concerning a health-care decision for the individual.

"Interested persons" means the patient's spouse, unless legally separated or estranged, a reciprocal beneficiary, any adult child, either parent of the patient, an adult sibling or adult grandchild of the patient, or any adult who has exhibited special care and concern for the patient and who is familiar with the patient's personal values.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Physician" means an individual authorized to practice medicine or osteopathy under chapter 453.

"Power of attorney for health care" means the designation of an agent to make health-care decisions for the individual granting the power.

"Primary physician" means a physician designated by an individual or the individual's agent, guardian, or surrogate, to have primary responsibility for the individual's health care or, in the absence of a designation or if the designated physician is not reasonably available, a physician who undertakes the responsibility.

"Reasonably available" means able to be contacted with a level of diligence appropriate to the seriousness and urgency of a patient's health care needs, and willing and able to act in a timely manner considering the urgency of the patient's health care needs.

"State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

"Supervising health-care provider" means the primary physician or the physician's designee, or the health-care provider or the provider's designee who has undertaken primary responsibility for an individual's health care.

"Surrogate" means an individual, other than a patient's agent or guardian, authorized under this chapter to make a health-care decision or to act as a medicaid authorized representative for the patient. [L 1999, c 169, pt of 1; am L 2004, c 161, 3; am L 2009, c 11, 40; am L 2018, c 125, 2]

 

 

Previous Vol06_Ch0321-0344 Next