2017 Alaska Statutes
Title 13. Decedents' Estates, Guardianships, Transfers, Trusts, and Health Care Decisions
Chapter 52. Health Care Decisions Act
Sec. 13.52.060. Obligations of health care providers, institutions, and facilities.

Universal Citation: AK Stat § 13.52.060 (2017)

(a) Before implementing a health care decision made for a patient, a supervising health care provider, if possible, shall promptly communicate to the patient the decision made and the identity of the person making the decision.

(b) A supervising health care provider who knows of the existence of an advance health care directive, a revocation of an advance health care directive, or a designation or disqualification of a surrogate shall promptly record its existence in the patient's health care record, shall request a copy if it is in writing, and shall arrange for its maintenance in the health care record if a copy is furnished.

(c) A supervising health care provider who makes or is informed of a determination that a patient lacks or has recovered capacity, or that another condition exists that affects an individual instruction or the authority of an agent, a guardian, or a surrogate, shall promptly record the determination in the patient's health care record and communicate the determination to the patient, if possible, and to any person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient.

(d) Except as provided in (e), (f), and (i) of this section and by AS 13.52.253, a health care provider, health care institution, or health care facility providing care to a patient shall comply with

(1) an individual instruction of the patient and with a reasonable interpretation of that instruction made by a person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient; and

(2) a health care decision for the patient made by a person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient to the same extent as if the decision had been made by the patient while having capacity.

(e) A health care provider may decline to comply with an individual instruction or a health care decision for reasons of conscience, except for a do not resuscitate order. A health care institution or health care facility may decline to comply with an individual instruction or health care decision if the instruction or decision is contrary to a policy of the institution or facility that is expressly based on reasons of conscience and if the policy was timely communicated to the patient or to a person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient.

(f) A health care provider, health care institution, or health care facility may decline to comply with an individual instruction or a health care decision that requires medically ineffective health care or health care contrary to generally accepted health care standards applicable to the provider, institution, or facility. In this subsection, "medically ineffective health care" means health care that according to reasonable medical judgment cannot cure the patient's illness, cannot diminish its progressive course, and cannot effectively alleviate severe discomfort and distress.

(g) A health care provider, health care institution, or health care facility that declines to comply with an individual instruction or a health care decision shall

(1) promptly inform the patient, if possible, and any person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient that the provider, institution, or facility has declined to comply with the instruction or decision;

(2) provide continuing care to the patient until a transfer is effected; and

(3) unless the patient or person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient refuses assistance, immediately cooperate and comply with a decision by the patient or a person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient to transfer the patient to another health care institution, to another health care facility, to the patient's home, or to another location chosen by the patient or by the person then authorized to make health care decisions for the patient.

(h) Except as provided for civil commitments under AS 47.30.817, a health care provider, health care institution, or health care facility may not require or prohibit the execution or revocation of an advance health care directive as a condition for providing health care.

(i) Notwithstanding the exception in (e) of this section for do not resuscitate orders, a health care provider may perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation or other resuscitative measures on a patient even if there is a do not resuscitate order for the patient if the condition requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation or other resuscitative measures is precipitated by complications arising out of medical services being provided by the health care provider to the patient.

(j) The provisions of (i) of this section do not apply when a health care provider performs emergency medical services on a patient in the field, unless an online physician orders the health care provider to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation or other resuscitative measures; in this subsection,

(1) "health care provider" does not include a physician;

(2) "in the field" does not include in a health care facility, health care institution, hospital, or mental health facility;

(3) "online physician" means a physician who is immediately available in person or by radio or telephone, when medically appropriate, for communication of medical direction to health care providers.

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