2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 24 - Health and Safety
Article 7A - Uniform Health-Care Decisions
Section 24-7A-11 - Capacity.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 24-7A-11 (2019)

A. The Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act does not affect the right of an individual to make health-care decisions while having capacity to do so.

B. An individual is presumed to have capacity to make a health-care decision, to give or revoke an advance health-care directive and to designate a surrogate.

C. Unless otherwise specified in a written advance health-care directive, a determination 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 by two qualified health-care professionals, one of whom shall be the primary care practitioner. If the lack of capacity is determined to exist because of mental illness or developmental disability, one of the qualified health-care professionals shall be a person whose training and expertise aid in the assessment of functional impairment.

D. An individual shall not be determined to lack capacity solely on the basis that the individual chooses not to accept the treatment recommended by a health-care practitioner.

E. An individual, at any time, may challenge a determination that the individual lacks capacity by a signed writing or by personally informing a health-care practitioner of the challenge. A health-care practitioner who is informed by the individual of a challenge shall promptly communicate the fact of the challenge to the supervising health-care practitioner and to any health-care institution at which the individual is receiving care. Such a challenge shall prevail unless otherwise ordered by the court in a proceeding brought pursuant to the provisions of Section 24-7A-14 NMSA 1978.

F. A determination of lack of capacity under the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act shall not be evidence of incapacity under the provisions of Article 5 of the Uniform Probate Code [Chapter 45 NMSA 1978].

History: Laws 1995, ch. 182, § 11; 1997, ch. 168, § 7; 2015, ch. 116, § 8.


The 2015 amendment, effective June 19, 2015, amended the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act provision, relating to the capacity of individuals making their own health-care decisions; and substituted each reference to "primary physician" or "health-care provider" with "primary care practitioner" or "health-care practitioner" throughout the section.

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 1997 amendment, effective July 1, 1997, deleted "or disqualify" following "designate" in Subsection B; and made a stylistic change.

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