Section 22-8A-3

Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) ADULT. Any person 19 years of age or over.

(2) ARTIFICIALLY PROVIDED NUTRITION AND HYDRATION. A medical treatment consisting of the administration of food and water through a tube or intravenous line, where the recipient is not required to chew or swallow voluntarily. Artificially provided nutrition and hydration does not include assisted feeding, such as spoon or bottle feeding.

(3) ADVANCE DIRECTIVE FOR HEALTH CARE. A writing executed in accordance with Section 22-8A-4 which may include a living will, the appointment of a health care proxy, or both such living will and appointment of a health care proxy.

(4) ATTENDING PHYSICIAN. The physician selected by, or assigned to, the patient who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.

(5) CARDIOPULMONARY CESSATION. A lack of pulse or respiration.

(6) COMPETENT ADULT. An adult who is alert, capable of understanding a lay description of medical procedures and able to appreciate the consequences of providing, withholding, or withdrawing medical procedures.

(7) DO NOT ATTEMPT RESUSCITATION (DNAR) ORDER. A physician's order that resuscitative measures not be provided to a person under a physician's care in the event the person is found with cardiopulmonary cessation. A do not attempt resuscitation order would include, without limitation, physician orders written as "do not resuscitate," "do not allow resuscitation," "do not allow resuscitative measures," "DNAR," "DNR," "allow natural death," or "AND." A do not attempt resuscitation order must be entered with the consent of the person, if the person is competent; or in accordance with instructions in an advance directive if the person is not competent or is no longer able to understand, appreciate, and direct his or her medical treatment and has no hope of regaining that ability; or with the consent of a health care proxy or surrogate functioning under the provisions in this chapter; or instructions by an attorney in fact under a durable power of attorney that duly grants powers to the attorney in fact to make those decisions described in Section 22-8A-4(b)(1).

(8) HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. A person who is licensed, certified, registered, or otherwise authorized by the law of this state to administer or provide health care in the ordinary course of business or in the practice of a profession.

(9) HEALTH CARE PROXY. Any person designated to act on behalf of an individual pursuant to Section 22-8A-4.

(10) LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENT. Any medical treatment, procedure, or intervention that, in the judgment of the attending physician, when applied to the patient, would serve only to prolong the dying process where the patient has a terminal illness or injury, or would serve only to maintain the patient in a condition of permanent unconsciousness. These procedures shall include, but are not limited to, assisted ventilation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, renal dialysis, surgical procedures, blood transfusions, and the administration of drugs and antibiotics. Life-sustaining treatment shall not include the administration of medication or the performance of any medical treatment where, in the opinion of the attending physician, the medication or treatment is necessary to provide comfort or to alleviate pain.

(11) LIVING WILL. A witnessed document in writing, voluntarily executed by the declarant, that gives directions and may appoint a health care proxy, in accordance with the requirements of Section 22-8A-4.

(12) PERMANENT UNCONSCIOUSNESS. A condition that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty:

a. Will last permanently, without improvement; and

b. In which cognitive thought, sensation, purposeful action, social interaction, and awareness of self and environment are absent; and

c. Which condition has existed for a period of time sufficient, in accordance with applicable professional standards, to make such a diagnosis; and

d. Which condition is confirmed by a physician who is qualified and experienced in making such a diagnosis.

(13) PERSON. An individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(14) PHYSICIAN. A person licensed to practice medicine and osteopathy in the State of Alabama.

(15) PORTABLE PHYSICIAN DNAR ORDER. A DNAR order entered in the medical record by a physician using the required form designated by the State Board of Health and substantiated by completion of all sections of the form.

(16) RESUSCITATIVE MEASURES. Those measures used to restore or support cardiac or respiratory function in the event of cardiopulmonary cessation.

(17) SURROGATE. Any person appointed to act on behalf of an individual pursuant to Section 22-8A-11.

(18) TERMINALLY ILL OR INJURED PATIENT. A patient whose death is imminent or whose condition, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, is hopeless unless he or she is artificially supported through the use of life-sustaining procedures and which condition is confirmed by a physician who is qualified and experienced in making such a diagnosis.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-772, p. 1329, §3; Acts 1997, No. 97-187, p. 281, §1; Act 2016-96, §1.)