2006 Code of Virginia § 54.1-2990 - Medically unnecessary treatment not required; procedure when physician refuses to comply with an ad...

54.1-2990. Medically unnecessary treatment not required; procedure whenphysician refuses to comply with an advance directive or a designatedperson's treatment decision; mercy killing or euthanasia prohibited.

A. Nothing in this article shall be construed to require a physician toprescribe or render medical treatment to a patient that the physiciandetermines to be medically or ethically inappropriate. However, in such acase, if the physician's determination is contrary to the terms of an advancedirective of a qualified patient or the treatment decision of a persondesignated to make the decision under this article or a Durable Do NotResuscitate Order, the physician shall make a reasonable effort to inform thepatient or the patient's designated decision-maker of such determination andthe reasons for the determination. If the conflict remains unresolved, thephysician shall make a reasonable effort to transfer the patient to anotherphysician who is willing to comply with the terms of the advance directive.The physician shall provide the patient or his authorized decision-maker areasonable time of not less than fourteen days to effect such transfer.During this period, the physician shall continue to provide anylife-sustaining care to the patient which is reasonably available to suchphysician, as requested by the patient or his designated decision-maker.

B. For purposes of this section, "life-sustaining care" means any ongoingmedical treatment that utilizes mechanical or other artificial means tosustain, restore or supplant a spontaneous vital function, includinghydration, nutrition, maintenance medication, and cardiopulmonaryresuscitation.

C. Nothing in this section shall require the provision of treatment that thephysician is physically or legally unable to provide, or treatment that thephysician is physically or legally unable to provide without thereby denyingthe same treatment to another patient.

D. Nothing in this article shall be construed to condone, authorize orapprove mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative ordeliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the naturalprocess of dying.

(1983, c. 532, 54-325.8:10; 1988, c. 765; 1992, cc. 748, 772; 1999, c. 814;2000, cc. 590, 598.)


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