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New Jersey Statutes, Title: 26, HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS

    Chapter 2H: Declaration of public policy

      Section: 26:2H-60: Determination of patient's capacity to make a health care decision

           8. a. The attending physician shall determine whether the patient lacks capacity to make a particular health care decision. The determination shall be stated in writing, shall include the attending physician's opinion concerning the nature, cause, extent, and probable duration of the patient's incapacity, and shall be made a part of the patient's medical records.

b. The attending physician's determination of a lack of decision making capacity shall be confirmed by one or more physicians. The opinion of the confirming physician shall be stated in writing and made a part of the patient's medical records in the same manner as that of the attending physician. Confirmation of a lack of decision making capacity is not required when the patient's lack of decision making capacity is clearly apparent, and the attending physician and the health care representative agree that confirmation is unnecessary.

c. If the attending physician or the confirming physician determines that a patient lacks decision making capacity because of a mental or psychological impairment or a developmental disability, and neither the attending physician or the confirming physician has specialized training or experience in diagnosing mental or psychological conditions or developmental disabilities of the same or similar nature, a determination of a lack of decision making capacity shall be confirmed by one or more physicians with appropriate specialized training or experience. The opinion of the confirming physician shall be stated in writing and made a part of the patient's medical records in the same manner as that of the attending physician.

d. A physician designated by the patient's advance directive as a health care representative shall not make or confirm the determination of a lack of decision making capacity.

e. The attending physician shall inform the patient, if the patient has any ability to comprehend that he has been determined to lack decision making capacity, and the health care representative that: (1) the patient has been determined to lack decision making capacity to make a particular health care decision; (2) each has the right to contest this determination; and (3) each may have recourse to the dispute resolution process established by the health care institution pursuant to section 14 of this act.

Notice to the patient and the health care representative shall be documented in the patient's medical records.

f. A determination of lack of decision making capacity under this act is solely for the purpose of implementing an advance directive in accordance with the provisions of this act, and shall not be construed as a determination of a patient's incapacity or incompetence for any other purpose.

g. For purposes of this section, a determination that a patient lacks decision making capacity shall be based upon, but need not be limited to, evaluation of the patient's ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of a particular health care decision, including the benefits and risks of, and alternatives to, the proposed health care, and to reach an informed decision.

L.1991,c.201,s.8



This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2013-08-23 14:41:25.






Older versions of 26:2H-60 (if available):



Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.