Section 22-8A-8

Refusal of health care provider to comply; penalties.

(a) A health care provider who refuses to comply with a living will or the directions of a duly designated proxy or a duly appointed surrogate or who refuses to honor a portable physician DNAR order executed in compliance with the directives of this chapter and using the form designated by the State Board of Health pursuant to this chapter shall promptly so advise the declarant and any individual designated to act for the declarant, shall not be liable for such refusal, but shall permit the patient to be transferred to another health care provider. Such health care provider shall reasonably cooperate to assist the declarant, or any individual designated to act for the declarant, in the timely transfer of the declarant to another health care provider that will follow the directions of the portable physician DNAR order, living will, health care proxy, or surrogate. During the time for the transfer, all life-sustaining treatments, including resuscitation efforts in the event of cardiopulmonary cessation and artificially provided nutrition and hydration, shall be properly maintained.

(b) No nurse, physician, or other health care provider may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in the withholding or withdrawal of resuscitative measures or life-sustaining treatment if such person objects to so doing. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of the person's participation or refusal to participate in the withholding or withdrawal of resuscitative measures or life-sustaining treatment.

(c) Any person who willfully conceals, cancels, defaces, obliterates, or damages the portable physician DNAR order or advance directive for health care of another without the declarant's consent or who falsifies or forges a revocation of the advance directive for health care of another shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) Any person who falsifies or forges the portable physician DNAR order or advance directive for health care of another, or willfully conceals or withholds personal knowledge of the revocation of a portable physician DNAR order or advance directive for health care, with the intent to cause a withholding or withdrawal of resuscitative measures or life-sustaining treatment or artificially provided nutrition and hydration contrary to the wishes of the declarant, and thereby, because of such act, directly causes life-sustaining treatment or artificially provided nutrition and hydration to be withheld or withdrawn and death to be hastened, shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-772, p. 1329, §8; Acts 1997, No. 97-187, p. 281, §1; Act 2016-96, §1.)