2016 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Section 137-J:5 - Scope and Duration of Agent's Authority.

NH Rev Stat § 137-J:5 (2016) What's This?
    137-J:5 Scope and Duration of Agent's Authority. –
    I. Subject to the provisions of this chapter and any express limitations set forth by the principal in an advance directive, the agent shall have the authority to make any and all health care decisions on the principal's behalf that the principal could make.
    II. An agent's or surrogate's authority under an advance directive shall be in effect only when the principal lacks capacity to make health care decisions, as certified in writing by the principal's attending physician or APRN, and filed with the name of the agent or surrogate in the principal's medical record. When and if the principal regains capacity to make health care decisions, such event shall be certified in writing by the principal's attending physician or APRN, noted in the principal's medical record, the agent's or surrogate's authority shall terminate, and the authority to make health care decisions shall revert to the principal.
    III. If the principal has no attending physician or APRN for reasons based on the principal's religious or moral beliefs as specified in his or her advance directive, the advance directive may include a provision that a person designated by the principal in the advance directive may certify in writing, acknowledged before a notary or justice of the peace, as to the lack of decisional capacity of the principal. The person so designated by the principal shall not be the agent, or a person ineligible to be the agent.
    IV. The principal's attending physician or APRN shall make reasonable efforts to inform the principal of any proposed treatment, or of any proposal to withdraw or withhold treatment. Notwithstanding that an advance directive or a surrogacy is in effect and irrespective of the principal's lack of capacity to make health care decisions at the time, treatment may not be given to or withheld from the principal over the principal's objection unless the principal's advance directive includes the following statement initialed by the principal, "Even if I am incapacitated and I object to treatment, treatment may be given to me against my objection.''
    V. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to give an agent or surrogate authority to:
       (a) Consent to voluntary admission to any state institution;
       (b) Consent to a voluntary sterilization;
       (c) Consent to withholding life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant principal, unless, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as certified on the principal's medical record by the attending physician or APRN and an obstetrician who has examined the principal, such treatment or procedures will not maintain the principal in such a way as to permit the continuing development and live birth of the fetus or will be physically harmful to the principal or prolong severe pain which cannot be alleviated by medication; or
       (d) Consent to psychosurgery, electro-convulsive shock therapy, sterilization, or an experimental treatment of any kind.

Source. 2006, 302:2. 2009, 54:4. 2014, 239:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.

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