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:2 - Definitions.
I. "Advance directive'' means a directive allowing a person to give directions about future medical care or to designate another person to make medical decisions if he or she should lose the capacity to make health care decisions. The term "advance directives'' shall include living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care.
II. "Advanced practice registered nurse '' or " APRN'' means a registered nurse who is licensed in good standing in the state of New Hampshire as having specialized clinical qualifications.
III. "Agent'' means an adult to whom authority to make health care decisions is delegated under an advance directive.
IV. "Attending physician or APRN'' means the physician or advanced practice registered nurse, selected by or assigned to a patient, who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient. If more than one physician or advanced practice registered nurse shares that responsibility, any one of those physicians or advanced practice registered nurses may act as the attending physician or APRN under the provisions of this chapter.
V. "Capacity to make health care decisions'' means the ability to understand and appreciate generally the nature and consequences of a health care decision, including the significant benefits and harms of and reasonable alternatives to any proposed health care. The fact that a person has been diagnosed with mental illness, brain injury, or intellectual disability shall not mean that the person necessarily lacks the capacity to make health care decisions.
VI. "Cardiopulmonary resuscitation'' means those measures used to restore or support cardiac or respiratory function in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest.
VI-a. "Close friend'' means any person 21 years of age or older who presents an affidavit to the attending physician stating that he or she is a close friend of the patient, is willing and able to become involved in the patient's health care, and has maintained such regular contact with the patient as to be familiar with the patient's activities, health, and religious and moral beliefs. The affidavit shall also state facts and circumstances that demonstrate such familiarity with the patient.
VII. "Do not resuscitate identification'' means a standardized identification necklace, bracelet, card, or written medical order that signifies that a "Do Not Resuscitate Order'' has been issued for the principal.
VIII. "Do not resuscitate order'' or "DNR order'' (also known as "Do not attempt resuscitation order'' or "DNAR order'') means an order that, in the event of an actual or imminent cardiac or respiratory arrest, chest compression and ventricular defibrillation will not be performed, the patient will not be intubated or manually ventilated, and there will be no administration of resuscitation drugs.
IX. "Durable power of attorney for health care'' means a document delegating to an agent the authority to make health care decisions executed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. It shall not mean forms routinely required by health and residential care providers for admissions and consent to treatment.
X. "Emergency services personnel'' means paid or volunteer firefighters, law-enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics or other emergency services personnel, providers, or entities acting within the usual course of their professions.
XI. "Health care decision'' means informed consent, refusal to give informed consent, or withdrawal of informed consent to any type of health care, treatment, admission to a health care facility, any service or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual's physical or mental condition except as prohibited in this chapter or otherwise by law.
XII. "Health care provider'' means an individual or facility licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to administer health care, for profit or otherwise, in the ordinary course of business or professional practice.
XIII. "Life-sustaining treatment'' means any medical procedures or interventions which utilize mechanical or other medically administered means to sustain, restore, or supplant a vital function which, in the written judgment of the attending physician or APRN, would serve only to artificially postpone the moment of death, and where the person is near death or is permanently unconscious. "Life-sustaining treatment'' includes, but is not limited to, the following: medically administered nutrition and hydration, mechanical respiration, kidney dialysis, or the use of other external mechanical or technological devices. Life sustaining treatment may include drugs to maintain blood pressure, blood transfusions, and antibiotics. "Life-sustaining treatment'' shall not include the administration of medication, natural ingestion of food or fluids by eating and drinking, or the performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary to provide comfort or to alleviate pain.
XIV. "Living will'' means a directive which, when duly executed, contains the express direction that no life-sustaining treatment be given when the person executing said directive has been diagnosed and certified in writing by the attending physician or APRN to be near death or permanently unconscious, without hope of recovery from such condition and is unable to actively participate in the decision-making process.
XV. "Medically administered nutrition and hydration'' means invasive procedures such as, but not limited to the following: Nasogastric tubes; gastrostomy tubes; intravenous feeding or hydration; and hyperalimentation. It shall not include the natural ingestion of food or fluids by eating and drinking.
XVI. "Near death'' means an incurable condition caused by injury, disease, or illness which is such that death is imminent and the application of life-sustaining treatment would, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as determined by 2 physicians or a physician and an APRN, only postpone the moment of death.
XVII. "Permanently unconscious'' means a lasting condition, indefinitely without improvement, in which thought, awareness of self and environment, and other indicators of consciousness are absent as determined by an appropriate neurological assessment by a physician in consultation with the attending physician or an appropriate neurological assessment by a physician in consultation with an APRN.
XVIII. "Physician'' means a medical doctor licensed in good standing to practice in the state of New Hampshire pursuant to RSA 329.
XIX. "Principal'' means a person 18 years of age or older who has executed an advance directive pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
XX. "Qualified patient'' means a patient who has executed an advance directive in accordance with this chapter and who has been certified in writing by the attending physician or APRN to lack the capacity to make health care decisions.
XXI. "Reasonable degree of medical certainty'' means a medical judgment that is made by a physician or APRN who is knowledgeable about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the medical conditions involved.
XXII. "Residential care provider'' means a "facility'' as defined in RSA 161-F:11, IV, a "nursing home'' as defined in RSA 151-A:1, IV, or any individual or facility licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to operate, for profit or otherwise, a residential care facility for adults, including but not limited to those operating pursuant to RSA 420-D.
XXII-a. "Surrogate decision-maker'' or "surrogate'' means an adult individual who has health care decision-making capacity, is available upon reasonable inquiry, is willing to make health care decisions on behalf of a patient who lacks health care decision-making capacity, and is identified by the attending physician or APRN in accordance with the provisions of this chapter as the person who is to make those decisions in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
XXIII. "Witness'' means a competent person 18 years or older who is present when the principal signs an advance directive.
Source. 2006, 302:2. 2009, 54:1. 2013, 224:1. 2014, 239:2-4, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.
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