2016 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title X - PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 137-J - WRITTEN DIRECTIVES FOR MEDICAL DECISION MAKING FOR ADULTS WITHOUT CAPACITY TO MAKE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS
Section 137-J:1 - Purpose and Policy.
I. The state of New Hampshire recognizes that a person has a right, founded in the autonomy and sanctity of the person, to control the decisions relating to the rendering of his or her own medical care. In order that the rights of persons may be respected even after such persons lack the capacity to make health care decisions for themselves, and to encourage communication between patients and their attending physicians or APRNs, the general court declares that the laws of this state shall recognize the right of a competent person to make a written directive:
(a) Delegating to an agent the authority to make health care decisions on the person's behalf, in the event such person is unable to make those decisions for himself or herself, either due to permanent or temporary lack of capacity to make health care decisions;
(b) Instructing his or her attending physician or APRN to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment, in the event such person is near death or is permanently unconscious.
II. All persons have a right to make health care decisions, including the right to refuse cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is the purpose of the "Do Not Resuscitate'' provisions of this chapter to ensure that the right of a person to self-determination relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation is protected, and to give direction to emergency services personnel and other health care providers in regard to the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
III. While all persons have a right to make a written directive, not all take advantage of that right, and it is the purpose of the surrogacy provisions of this chapter to ensure that health care decisions can be made in a timely manner by a person's next of kin or loved one without involving court action. This chapter specifies a process to establish a surrogate decision-maker when there is no valid advance directive or a guardian, as defined in RSA 464-A, to make health care decisions.
Source. 2006, 302:2. 2009, 54:4. 2014, 239:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.
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