2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 24-7B-4 — Advance directive for mental health treatment.

24-7B-4. Advance directive for mental health treatment.

A.     An adult or emancipated minor, while having capacity, has the right to make the adult or emancipated minor's own mental health treatment decisions and may give an individual instruction.  The individual instruction may be oral or written; if oral, it shall be made by personally informing a health care provider.  The individual instruction may be limited to take effect only if a specified condition arises.  

B.     An adult or emancipated minor, while having capacity, may execute a power of attorney for mental health treatment that may authorize the agent to make any mental health treatment decision the principal could have made while having capacity.  The power of attorney for mental health treatment shall be in writing signed by the principal and witnessed pursuant to Subsections I and J of this section.  The power of attorney for mental health treatment shall remain in effect notwithstanding the principal's later incapacity under the Mental Health Care Treatment Decisions Act [ 24-7B-1 NMSA 1978] or Article 5 [ 45-5-101 NMSA 1978] of the Uniform Probate Code.  The power of attorney for mental health treatment may include individual instructions.  Unless related to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption, an agent may not be an attending qualified health care professional or an employee of the qualified health care professional or an owner, operator or employee of a mental health treatment facility at which the principal is receiving care. 

C.     Unless otherwise specified in a power of attorney for mental health treatment, the authority of an agent becomes effective only upon certification that the principal lacks capacity and ceases to be effective upon a determination that the principal has recovered capacity.  

D.     Unless otherwise specified in a written advance directive for mental health treatment, written certification that an individual lacks or has recovered capacity or that another condition exists that affects an individual instruction or the authority of an agent shall be made according to the provisions of the Mental Health Care Treatment Decisions Act.  

E.     An agent shall make a mental health treatment decision in accordance with the principal's individual instructions, if any, and other wishes to the extent known to the agent.  Otherwise, the agent shall make the decision in accordance with the agent's determination of the principal's best interest.  In determining the principal's best interest, the agent shall consider the principal's personal values to the extent known to the agent.  

F.     A mental health treatment decision made by an agent for a principal is effective without judicial approval.  

G.     A written advance directive for mental health treatment may include the individual's nomination of a choice of guardian of the individual.  

H.     The fact that an individual has executed an advance directive for mental health treatment shall not constitute an indication of mental illness.  

I.     A written advance directive for mental health treatment is valid only if it is signed by the principal and a witness who is at least eighteen years of age and who attests that the principal: 

(1)     is known to the witness; 

(2)     signed the advance directive for mental health treatment in the witness' presence; 

(3)     appears to have capacity; and 

(4)     is not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence.  

J.     For purposes of the advance directive for mental health treatment, the witness shall not be: 

(1)     an agent of the principal; 

(2)     related to the principal by blood or marriage; 

(3)     entitled to any part of the principal's estate or have a claim against the principal's estate; 

(4)     the attending qualified health care professional; or 

(5)     an owner, operator or employee of a mental health treatment facility at which the principal is receiving care or of any parent organization of the mental health treatment facility.  

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