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:7 - Physician, APRN, and Provider's Responsibilities.
I. A qualified patient's attending physician or APRN, or a qualified patient's health care provider or residential care provider, and employees thereof, having knowledge of the qualified patient's advance directive shall be bound to follow, as applicable, the dictates of the qualified patient's living will and/or the directives of a qualified patient's designated agent to the extent they are consistent with this chapter and the advance directive, and to the extent they are within the bounds of responsible medical practice.
(a) An attending physician or APRN, or other health care provider or residential care provider, who is requested to do so by the principal shall make the principal's advance directive or a copy of such document a part of the principal's medical record.
(b) Any person having in his or her possession a duly executed advance directive or a revocation thereof, if it becomes known to that person that the principal executing the same is in such circumstances that the terms of the advance directive might become applicable (such as when the principal becomes a "qualified patient''), shall forthwith deliver an original or copy of the same to the health care provider or residential care provider with which the principal is a patient.
(c) The principal's attending physician or APRN, or any other physician or APRN, who is aware of the principal's execution of an advance directive shall, without delay, take the necessary steps to provide for written verification of the principal's lack of capacity to make health care decisions (in other words, to certify that the principal is a "qualified patient''), and/or the principal's near death or permanently unconscious condition, as defined in this chapter and as appropriate to the principal's medical condition, so that the attending physician or APRN and the principal's agent may be authorized to act pursuant to this chapter.
(d) If a physician or an APRN, because of his or her personal beliefs or conscience, is unable to comply with the terms of the advance directive or surrogate's decision, he or she shall immediately inform the qualified patient, the qualified patient's family, or the qualified patient's agent. The qualified patient, or the qualified patient's agent or family, may then request that the case be referred to another physician or APRN.
II. An attending physician or APRN who, because of personal beliefs or conscience, is unable to comply with the advance directive or the surrogate's decision pursuant to this chapter shall, without delay, make the necessary arrangements to effect the transfer of a qualified patient and the appropriate medical records that document the qualified patient's lack of capacity to make health care decisions to another physician or APRN who has been chosen by the qualified patient, by the qualified patient's agent or surrogate, or by the qualified patient's family, provided, that pending the completion of the transfer, the attending physician or APRN shall not deny health care treatment, nutrition, or hydration which denial would, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, result in or hasten the qualified patient's death against the express will of the qualified patient, the advance directive, or the agent or surrogate.
III. Medically administered nutrition and hydration and life sustaining treatment shall not be withdrawn or withheld under this chapter unless:
(a) There is a clear expression of such intent in the directive;
(b) The principal objects pursuant to RSA 137-J:5, IV; or
(c) Such treatment would have the unintended consequence of hastening death or causing irreparable harm as certified by an attending physician and a physician knowledgeable about the patient's condition.
IV. When the direction of an agent or instruction under a living will requires an act or omission contrary to the moral or ethical principles or other standards of a health care provider or residential care provider of which the principal is a patient or resident, the health care provider shall allow for the transfer of the principal and the appropriate medical records to another health care provider chosen by the principal or by the agent and shall incur no liability for its refusal to carry out the terms of the direction by the agent; provided, that, pending the completion of the transfer, the health care provider or residential care provider shall not deny health care treatment, nutrition, hydration, or life sustaining treatment which denial would with a reasonable degree of medical certainty result in or hasten the principal's death against the expressed will of the principal, the principal's advance directive, or the agent; and further provided, that, the health care provider or residential care provider shall inform the agent of its decision not to participate in such an act or omission.
Source. 2006, 302:2. 2009, 54:4. 2014, 239:6, 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.
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