2019 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Chapter 54 - Health Care
Section 5443 - When living will operative

Universal Citation: 20 PA Cons Stat § 5443 (2019)
§ 5443. When living will operative.

(a) When operative.--A living will becomes operative when:

(1) a copy is provided to the attending physician; and

(2) the principal is determined by the attending physician to be incompetent and to have an end-stage medical condition or to be permanently unconscious.

(b) Compliance.--When a living will becomes operative, the attending physician and other health care providers shall act in accordance with its provisions or comply with the transfer provisions of section 5424 (relating to compliance).

(c) Invalidity of specific direction.--If a specific direction in a living will is held to be invalid, the invalidity does not negate other directions in the living will that can be effected without the invalid direction.

(d) Medical record.--Any health care provider to whom a copy of a living will is furnished shall make it a part of the medical record of the principal and, if unwilling to comply with the living will, promptly so advise the principal or the principal's health care agent or representative.

(e) Duration.--Unless a living will states a time of termination, it is valid until revoked by the principal, notwithstanding the lapse of time since its execution.

(f) Absence of living will.--If an individual does not make a living will, a presumption does not arise regarding the intent of the individual to consent to or to refuse the initiation, continuation, withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.

(g) Duty of physician to certify end-stage medical condition.--Promptly after a determination that the principal has an end-stage medical condition or is permanently unconscious, the attending physician shall certify in writing that the principal has an end-stage medical condition or is permanently unconscious.

Cross References. Section 5443 is referred to in section 5445 of this title.

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