2020 Georgia Code
Title 31 - Health
Chapter 32 - Advance Directives for Health Care
§ 31-32-9. Conditions Precedent to Carrying Out Health Care Treatment Preferences; Physician's Failure to Comply With Treatment Preferences

Universal Citation: GA Code § 31-32-9 (2020)
  1. Prior to effecting a withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration from a declarant pursuant to a declarant's directions in an advance directive for health care, the attending physician:
    1. Shall determine that, to the best of that attending physician's knowledge, the declarant is not pregnant, or if she is, that the fetus is not viable and that the declarant has specifically indicated in the advance directive for health care that the declarant's directions regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration are to be carried out;
    2. Shall, without delay after the diagnosis of a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness of the declarant, take the necessary steps to provide for the written certification of the declarant's terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness in accordance with the procedure set forth in subsection (b) of this Code section;
    3. Shall make a reasonable effort to determine that the advance directive for health care complies with Code Section 31-32-5; and
    4. Shall make the advance directive for health care and the written certification of the terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness a part of the declarant patient's medical records.
  2. The procedure for establishing a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness is as follows: two physicians, one of whom shall be the attending physician, who, after personally examining the declarant, shall certify in writing, based upon conditions found during the course of their examination and in accordance with currently accepted medical standards, that the declarant is in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness.
  3. The advance directive for health care shall be presumed, unless revoked, to be the directions of the declarant regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration.
  4. The attending physician who fails or refuses to comply with the declarant's directions regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration shall advise promptly the health care agent, if one is appointed, and, otherwise, next of kin or legal guardian of the declarant that such physician is unwilling to effectuate such directions. The attending physician shall thereafter at the election of the health care agent, if one is appointed, and, otherwise, next of kin or legal guardian of the declarant:
    1. Make a good faith attempt to effect the transfer of the declarant to another physician who will comply with the declarant's directions regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration; or
    2. Permit the health care agent, if one is appointed, and, otherwise, next of kin or legal guardian of the declarant to obtain another physician who will comply with the declarant's directions regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration.

(Code 1981, §31-32-9, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 133, § 2/HB 24.)

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