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:35 - Surrogate Decision-making.
I. When a patient lacks capacity to make health care decisions, the physician or APRN shall make a reasonable inquiry pursuant to 137-J:7 as to whether the patient has a valid advance directive and, to the extent that the patient has designated an agent, whether such agent is available, willing and able to act. When no health care agent is authorized and available, the health care provider shall make a reasonable inquiry as to the availability of possible surrogates listed under this paragraph. A surrogate decision-maker may make medical decisions on behalf of a patient without court order or judicial involvement in the following order of priority:
(a) The patient's spouse, or civil union partner or common law spouse as defined by RSA 457:39, unless there is a divorce proceeding, separation agreement, or restraining order limiting that person's relationship with the patient.
(b) Any adult son or daughter of the patient.
(c) Either parent of the patient.
(d) Any adult brother or sister of the patient.
(e) Any adult grandchild of the patient.
(f) Any grandparent of the patient.
(g) Any adult aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of the patient.
(h) A close friend of the patient.
(i) The agent with financial power of attorney or a conservator appointed in accordance with RSA 464-A.
(j) The guardian of the patient's estate.
II. The physician or APRN may identify a surrogate from the list in paragraph I if the physician or APRN determines he or she is able and willing to act, and determines after reasonable inquiry that neither a legal guardian, health care agent under a durable power of attorney for health care, nor a surrogate of higher priority is available and able and willing to act. The surrogate decision-maker, as identified by the attending physician or APRN, may make health care decisions for the patient. The surrogacy provisions of this chapter shall take effect when the decision-maker names are recorded in the medical record. The physician or APRN shall have the right to rely on any of the above surrogates if the physician or APRN believes after reasonable inquiry that neither a health care agent under a durable power of attorney for health care or a surrogate of higher priority is available or able and willing to act.
Source. 2014, 239:12, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.
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