2019 Mississippi Code
Title 41 - Public Health
Chapter 41 - Surgical or Medical Procedures; Consents
Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act
§ 41-41-211. Surrogates

Universal Citation: MS Code § 41-41-211 (2019)
  • (1) A surrogate may make a health-care decision for a patient who is an adult or emancipated minor if the patient has been determined by the primary physician to lack capacity and no agent or guardian has been appointed or the agent or guardian is not reasonably available.

  • (2) An adult or emancipated minor may designate any individual to act as surrogate by personally informing the supervising health-care provider. In the absence of a designation, or if the designee is not reasonably available, any member of the following classes of the patient’s family who is reasonably available, in descending order of priority, may act as surrogate:

    • (a) The spouse, unless legally separated;

    • (b) An adult child;

    • (c) A parent; or

    • (d) An adult brother or sister.

  • (3) If none of the individuals eligible to act as surrogate under subsection (2) 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.

  • (4) A surrogate shall communicate his or her assumption of authority as promptly as practicable to the members of the patient’s family specified in subsection (2) who can be readily contacted.

  • (5) If more than one (1) member of a class assumes authority to act as surrogate, and they do not agree on a health-care decision and the supervising health-care provider is so informed, 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 so informed, that class and all individuals having lower priority are disqualified from making the decision.

  • (6) A surrogate shall make a health-care decision in accordance with the patient’s individual instructions, 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.

  • (7) A health-care decision made by a surrogate for a patient is effective without judicial approval.

  • (8) An individual at any time may disqualify another, including a member of the individual’s family, from acting as the individual’s surrogate by a signed writing or by personally informing the supervising health-care provider of the disqualification.

  • (9) A surrogate may not be an owner, operator, or employee of a residential long-term health-care institution at which the patient is receiving care unless related to the patient by blood, marriage, or adoption, except in the case of a patient of a state-operated facility who has no person listed in subsection (2) reasonably available to act as a surrogate.

  • (10) A supervising health-care provider may require an individual claiming the right to act as surrogate for a patient to provide a written declaration under penalty of perjury stating facts and circumstances reasonably sufficient to establish the claimed authority.

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