2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 24 - Health and Safety
Article 7A - Uniform Health-Care Decisions
Section 24-7A-1 - Definitions.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 24-7A-1 (2019)

As used in the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act:

A. "advance health-care directive" means an individual instruction or a power of attorney for health care made, in either case, while the individual has capacity;

B. "agent" means an individual designated in a power of attorney for health care to make a health-care decision for the individual granting the power;

C. "capacity" means an individual's ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of proposed health care, including its significant benefits, risks and alternatives to proposed health care and to make and communicate an informed health-care decision. A determination of lack of capacity shall be made only according to the provisions of Section 24-7A-11 NMSA 1978;

D. "emancipated minor" means an individual between the ages of sixteen and eighteen who has been married, who is on active duty in the armed forces or who has been declared by court order to be emancipated;

E. "guardian" means a judicially appointed guardian or conservator having authority to make a health-care decision for an individual;

F. "health care" means any care, treatment, service or procedure to maintain, diagnose or otherwise affect an individual's physical or mental condition;

G. "health-care decision" means a decision made by an individual or the individual's agent, guardian or surrogate, regarding the individual's health care, including:

(1) selection and discharge of health-care practitioners and institutions;

(2) approval or disapproval of diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, programs of medication and orders not to resuscitate;

(3) directions relating to life-sustaining treatment, including withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and the termination of life support; and

(4) directions to provide, withhold or withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration and all other forms of health care;

H. "health-care institution" means an institution, facility or agency licensed, certified or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business;

I. "health-care practitioner" means an individual licensed, certified or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession;

J. "individual instruction" means an individual's direction concerning a health-care decision for the individual made while the individual has capacity;

K. "life-sustaining treatment" means any medical treatment or procedure without which the individual is likely to die within a relatively short time, as determined to a reasonable degree of medical certainty by the primary care practitioner;

L. "person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality or any other legal or commercial entity;

M. "physician" means an individual authorized to practice medicine or osteopathy;

N. "power of attorney for health care" means the designation of an agent to make health-care decisions for the individual granting the power, made while the individual has capacity;

O. "primary care practitioner" means a health-care practitioner designated by an individual or the individual's agent, guardian or surrogate to have primary responsibility for the individual's health care;

P. "principal" means an adult or emancipated minor who, while having capacity, has made a power of attorney for health care by which the adult or emancipated minor delegates the right to make health-care decisions for the adult or emancipated minor to an agent;

Q. "protected person" means an adult or emancipated minor for whom a guardian has been appointed;

R. "qualified health-care professional" means a health-care practitioner who is a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nurse, psychologist or social worker;

S. "reasonably available" means readily able to be contacted without undue effort and willing and able to act in a timely manner considering the urgency of the patient's health-care needs;

T. "state" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;

U. "supervising health-care practitioner" means the primary care practitioner, or if there is no primary care practitioner or if the primary care practitioner is not reasonably available, the health-care practitioner who has undertaken primary responsibility for an individual's health care; and

V. "surrogate" means an individual, other than a patient's agent or guardian, authorized under the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act to make a health-care decision for the patient.

History: Laws 1995, ch. 182, § 1; 1997, ch. 168, § 1; 2009, ch. 159, § 1; 2015, ch. 116, § 4.

ANNOTATIONS

The 2015 amendment, effective June 19, 2015, amended the definitions of primary care practitioner" and "supervising health-care practitioner" as used in the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act; in Paragraph (1) of Subsection G, after "health-care", deleted "providers" and added "practitioners"; in Subsection I, after "health-care", deleted "provider" and added "practitioner"; in Subsection K, after "primary", deleted "physician" and added "care practitioner"; in Subsection O, after "primary", deleted "'physician' means a physician designated by an individual or the individual's agent, guardian or surrogate to have primary responsibility for the individual's health care or, in the absence of a designation or if the designated physician is not reasonably available, a physician who undertakes the responsibility" and added "'care practitioner' means a health-care practitioner designated by an individual or the individual's agent, guardian or surrogate to have primary responsibility for the individual's health care"; in Subsection R, after "health-care", deleted "provider" and added "practitioner"; in Subsection U, after "health-care", deleted "provider" and added "practitioner", and after "primary", deleted "physician or, if there is no primary physician or the primary physician is not reasonably available, the health-care provider who has undertaken primary responsibility for an individual's health", and after "care", added "practitioner, or if there is no primary care practitioner or if the primary care practitioner is not reasonably available, the health-care practitioner who has undertaken primary responsibility for an individual's health care".

Temporary provisions. — Laws 2015, ch. 116, § 16 provided that by January 1, 2016, every cabinet secretary, agency head and head of a political subdivision of the state shall update rules requiring an examination by, a certificate from or a statement of a licensed physician to also accept such examination, certificate or statement from an advanced practice registered nurse, certified nurse-midwife or physician assistant working within that person's scope of practice.

The 2009 amendment, effective June 19, 2009, added Subsection Q and deleted former Subsection V, which defined "ward".

The 1997 amendment, effective July 1, 1997, added Subsections D, K, P and V and Paragraph G(3), and made a stylistic change.

Law reviews. — For lecture, "Euthanasia and the right to die: Nancy Cruzan and New Mexico," see 20 N.M.L. Rev. 675 (1990).

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — Patient's right to refuse treatment allegedly necessary to sustain life, 93 A.L.R.3d 67.

Judicial power to order discontinuance of life-sustaining treatment, 48 A.L.R.4th 67.

Living wills: validity, construction, and effect, 49 A.L.R.4th 812.

Tortious maintenance or removal of life supports, 58 A.L.R.4th 222.

Propriety of, and liability related to, issuance or enforcement of do not resuscitate (DNR) orders, 46 A.L.R.5th 793.

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