2017 Georgia Code
Title 31 - Health
Chapter 32 - Advance Directives for Health Care
§ 31-32-2. Definitions
- As used in this chapter, the term:
- (1) "Advance directive for health care" means a written document voluntarily executed by a declarant in accordance with the requirements of Code Section 31-32-5.
- (2) "Attending physician" means the physician who has primary responsibility at the time of reference for the treatment and care of the declarant.
- (3) "Declarant" means a person who has executed an advance directive for health care authorized by this chapter.
- (4) "Durable power of attorney for health care" means a written document voluntarily executed by an individual creating a health care agency in accordance with Chapter 36 of this title, as such chapter existed on and before June 30, 2007.
- (5) "Health care" means any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, treat, or provide for a declarant's physical or mental health or personal care.
- (6) "Health care agent" means a person appointed by a declarant to act for and on behalf of the declarant to make decisions related to consent, refusal, or withdrawal of any type of health care and decisions related to autopsy, anatomical gifts, and final disposition of a declarant's body when a declarant is unable or chooses not to make health care decisions for himself or herself. The term "health care agent" shall include any back-up or successor agent appointed by the declarant.
- (7) "Health care facility" means a hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice, institution, home, residential or nursing facility, treatment facility, and any other facility or service which has a valid permit or provisional permit issued under Chapter 7 of this title or which is licensed, accredited, or approved under the laws of any state, and includes hospitals operated by the United States government or by any state or subdivision thereof.
- (8) "Health care provider" means the attending physician and any other person administering health care to the declarant at the time of reference who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or the practice of a profession, including any person employed by or acting for any such authorized person.
- (9) "Life-sustaining procedures" means medications, machines, or other medical procedures or interventions which, when applied to a declarant in a terminal condition or in a state of permanent unconsciousness, could in reasonable medical judgment keep the declarant alive but cannot cure the declarant and where, in the judgment of the attending physician and a second physician, death will occur without such procedures or interventions. The term "life-sustaining procedures" shall not include the provision of nourishment or hydration but a declarant may direct the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration in an advance directive for health care. The term "life-sustaining procedures" shall not include the administration of medication to alleviate pain or the performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary to alleviate pain.
- (10) "Living will" means a written document voluntarily executed by an individual directing the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures when an individual is in a terminal condition, coma, or persistent vegetative state in accordance with this chapter, as such chapter existed on and before June 30, 2007.
- (11) "Physician" means a person lawfully licensed in this state to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43; and if the declarant is receiving health care in another state, a person lawfully licensed in such state.
- (12) "Provision of nourishment or hydration" means the provision of nutrition or fluids by tube or other medical means.
- (13) "State of permanent unconsciousness" means an incurable or irreversible condition in which the declarant is not aware of himself or herself or his or her environment and in which the declarant is showing no behavioral response to his or her environment.
- (14) "Terminal condition" means an incurable or irreversible condition which would result in the declarant's death in a relatively short period of time.
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