Section 22-8A-2

Legislative intent.

The Legislature finds that competent adult persons have the right to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their own medical care, including, without limitation, the decision to have medical procedures, life-sustaining treatment, and artificially provided nutrition and hydration provided, withheld, or withdrawn in instances of terminal conditions and permanent unconsciousness.

In order that the rights of individuals may be respected even after they are no longer able to participate actively in decisions about themselves, the Legislature hereby declares that the laws of this state shall recognize the right of a competent adult person to make a written declaration instructing his or her physician to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment and artificially provided nutrition and hydration or designate by lawful written form a health care proxy to make decisions on behalf of the adult person concerning the providing, withholding, or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment and artificially provided nutrition and hydration in instances of terminal conditions and permanent unconsciousness. The Legislature further desires to provide for the appointment of surrogate decision-makers in instances where the individual has not made such a designation and to allow a health care provider to follow certain portable physician orders provided for in this chapter.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-772, p. 1329, §2; Acts 1997, No. 97-187, p. 281, §1; Act 2016-96, §1.)