2017 Alaska Statutes
Title 13. Decedents' Estates, Guardianships, Transfers, Trusts, and Health Care Decisions
Chapter 52. Health Care Decisions Act
Sec. 13.52.030. Surrogates.
(a) Except in the case of mental health treatment and except as provided by AS 13.52.173 and 13.52.193, a surrogate may make a health care decision for a patient who is an adult if an agent or guardian has not been appointed or the agent or guardian is not reasonably available, and if the patient has been determined by the primary physician to lack capacity.
(b) Subject to AS 13.52.055(b), a surrogate may make a decision regarding mental health treatment for a patient who is an adult if
(1) an agent or guardian has not been appointed or the agent or guardian is not reasonably available;
(2) the mental health treatment is needed on an emergency basis; and
(3) the patient has been determined to lack capacity by
(A) two physicians, one of whom is a psychiatrist; or
(B) a physician and a professional mental health clinician.
(c) Except as provided for anatomical gifts in AS 13.52.173, an adult may designate an individual to act as surrogate for that adult by personally informing the supervising health care provider. Except as provided by AS 13.52.173 or 13.52.193, in the absence of a designation, or if the designee is not reasonably available, a member of the following classes of the patient's family who is reasonably available, in descending order of priority, may act as surrogate:
(1) the spouse, unless legally separated;
(2) an adult child;
(3) a parent; or
(4) an adult sibling.
(d) Except as provided by (l) of this section or AS 13.52.173 or 13.52.193, if none of the individuals eligible to act as surrogate under (c) of this section is reasonably available, an adult who has exhibited special care and concern for the patient, who is familiar with the patient's personal values, and who is reasonably available may act as surrogate.
(e) A surrogate shall communicate the surrogate's assumption of authority as promptly as practicable to the health care provider, the health care institution, and the members of the patient's family specified in (c) of this section who can be readily contacted.
(f) If more than one member of a class under (c)(2) — (4) of this section assumes authority to act as surrogate, the members of that class do not agree on a health care decision, and the supervising health care provider is informed of the disagreement, the supervising health care provider shall comply with the decision of a majority of the members of that class who have communicated their views to the provider. If the class is evenly divided concerning the health care decision and the supervising health care provider is informed of the even division, that class and all individuals having a lower priority under (c)(2) — (4) of this section are disqualified from making the decision, and the primary physician, after consulting with all individuals in that evenly divided class who are reasonably available, shall make a decision based on the consultation and the primary physician's own determination of the best interest of the patient.
(g) A surrogate shall make a health care decision in accordance with the patient's individual instructions or other advance health care directives, if any, and other wishes to the extent known to the surrogate. Otherwise, the surrogate shall make the decision in accordance with the surrogate's determination of the patient's best interest. In determining the patient's best interest, the surrogate shall consider the patient's personal values to the extent known to the surrogate.
(h) If a patient's primary health care provider observes that a surrogate is not abiding by the wishes, values, and best interest of the patient, the primary health care provider may decline to comply with a decision of the surrogate and shall notify the health care institution where the primary health care provider is providing health care to the patient.
(i) A health care decision made by a surrogate for a patient is effective without judicial approval.
(j) A patient who has capacity may, at any time, disqualify another person, including a member of the patient's family, from acting as the patient's surrogate by a signed writing or by personally informing the supervising health care provider of the disqualification.
(k) Unless related to the patient by blood, marriage, or adoption, a surrogate may not be an owner, operator, or employee of the health care facility where the patient is receiving care.
(l) A supervising health care provider may require an individual claiming the right to act as a surrogate for a patient to provide a written declaration under penalty of perjury stating facts and circumstances reasonably sufficient to establish the claimed authority.