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Rhode Island Power of Attorney regarding Life Sustaining Treatment Law

Living Wills – General – Rhode Island

Definitions

A “declaration” is a witnessed document executed in accordance with the requirements of ยง23-4.11-3.

A “health care provider” is a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the law of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.

“Life sustaining procedure” is any medical procedure or intervention that, when administered to a qualified patient, will serve only to prolong the dying process. “Life sustaining procedure” does not mean any medical procedure or intervention considered necessary by the attending physician to provide comfort and care or alleviate pain.

A “qualified patient” is a patient who has executed a declaration in accordance with Rhode Island law and who has been determined by the attending physician to be in a terminal condition.

A “terminal condition” is an incurable or irreversible condition that, without the administration of life sustaining procedures, will, in the opinion of the attending physician, result in death.

The Declaration
A competent individual eighteen years of age or older may at any time execute a declaration concerning the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures.

The declaration must be signed by the declarant, or another at the declarant’s direction in the presence of two subscribing witnesses who are not related to the declarant by blood or marriage.

A physician or other health care provider who is provided a copy of the declaration must make that declaration a part of the declarant’s medical record.

A declaration is effective ONLY when:

The declaration is communicated to the attending physician;

The declarant is determined by the attending physician to be in a terminal condition; and

The declarant is unable to make treatment decisions.

Form
The statutory form is not required.

Revocation
“A declaration may be revoked at any time and in any manner by which the declarant is able to communicate an intent to revoke, without regard to mental or physical condition.”

A revocation is only effective as to the attending physician or any health care provider upon communication to that physician or health care provider by the declarant or by another who witnessed the revocation. The attending physician or health care provider must make the revocation a part of the declarant’s medical record.

A revocation is only effective as to the attending physician or any health care provider or emergency medical services personnel upon communication to that physician health care provider or emergency medical services personnel by the declarant or by another who witnessed the revocation.

Inconsistency With Durable Power of Attorney
If there is an inconsistency between a declaration executed pursuant to this chapter and a durable health care power of attorney executed pursuant to chapter 4.10, both of which have been executed by the same person, the latter executed document shall control as to any inconsistent provision.

Presumption of Validity
A physician or health care provider or emergency medical services personnel may presume, in the absence of actual notice to the contrary, that a declaration complies with the requirements of Rhode Island law and is valid.

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Inside Rhode Island Power of Attorney regarding Life Sustaining Treatment Law