2020 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 62 - South Carolina Probate Code
Article 5 - Protection Of Persons Under Disability And Their Property
Section 62-5-501. Definitions.

Universal Citation: SC Code § 62-5-501 (2020)

As used in this part:

(1) "Agent" or "health care agent" means an individual designated in a health care power of attorney to make health care decisions on behalf of a principal.

(2) "Declaration of a desire for a natural death" or "declaration" means a document executed in accordance with the South Carolina Death with Dignity Act or a similar document executed in accordance with the law of another state.

(3) "Health care" means a procedure to diagnose or treat a human disease, ailment, defect, abnormality, or complaint, whether of physical or mental origin. It also includes the provision of intermediate or skilled nursing care; services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick persons; and placement in or removal from a facility that provides these forms of care.

(4) "Health care power of attorney" means a durable power of attorney executed in accordance with this part.

(5) "Health care provider" means a person, health care facility, organization, or corporation licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this State to administer health care.

(6) "Life-sustaining procedure" means a medical procedure or intervention that serves only to prolong the dying process. Life-sustaining procedures do not include the administration of medication or other treatment for comfort care or alleviation of pain. The principal shall indicate in the health care power of attorney whether the provision of nutrition and hydration through medically or surgically implanted tubes is desired.

(7) "Permanent unconsciousness" means a medical diagnosis, consistent with accepted standards of medical practice, that a person is in a persistent vegetative state or some other irreversible condition in which the person has no neocortical functioning, but only involuntary vegetative or primitive reflex functions controlled by the brain stem.

(8) "Nursing care provider" means a nursing care facility or an employee of the facility.

(9) "Principal" means an individual who executes a health care power of attorney. A principal must be eighteen years of age or older and of sound mind.

(10) "Separated" means that the principal and his or her spouse are separated pursuant to one of the following:

(a) entry of a pendente lite order in a divorce or separate maintenance action;

(b) formal signing of a written property or marital settlement agreement;

(c) entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement between the parties.

HISTORY: 1992 Act No. 306, Section 1; 2005 Act No. 172, Section 1; 2006 Act No. 365, Section 1; 2008 Act No. 303, Sections 2, 3, eff June 11, 2008; 2010 Act No. 244, Section 41, eff June 7, 2010; formerly 1976 Code Section 62-5-504; 2016 Act No. 279, Section 2, eff January 1, 2017.

Editor's Note

Prior Laws: Former Section 62-5-501 was titled When power of attorney not affected by disability, and had the following history: 1986 Act No. 539, Section 1; 1990 Act No. 483, Section 5; 1990 Act No. 521, Section 104; 1992 Act No. 256, Section 1; 1992 Act No. 306, Sections 5, 6; 1997 Act No. 152, Section 27; 2002 Act No. 362, Section 9; 2010 Act No. 244, Section 40, eff June 7, 2010. See now, 1976 Code Section 62-8-101 et seq.

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