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AB-637 Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment forms.(2015-2016)

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Assembly Bill No. 637
CHAPTER 217

An act to amend Section 4780 of the Probate Code, relating to resuscitative measures.

[ Approved by Governor  August 17, 2015. Filed with Secretary of State  August 17, 2015. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 637, Campos. Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment forms.
Existing law defines a request regarding resuscitative measures to mean a written document, signed by an individual, as specified, and the physician, that directs a health care provider regarding resuscitative measures, and includes a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form (POLST form). Existing law requires a physician to treat a patient in accordance with the POLST form and specifies the criteria for creation of a POLST form, including that the form be completed by a health care provider based on patient preferences and medical indications, and signed by a physician and the patient or his or her legally recognized health care decisionmaker.
This bill would authorize the signature of a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant acting under the supervision of the physician and within the scope of practice authorized by law to create a valid POLST form.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4780 of the Probate Code is amended to read:

4780.
 (a) As used in this part:
(1) “Request regarding resuscitative measures” means a written document, signed by (A) an individual with capacity, or a legally recognized health care decisionmaker, and (B) the individual’s physician, that directs a health care provider regarding resuscitative measures. A request regarding resuscitative measures is not an advance health care directive.
(2) “Request regarding resuscitative measures” includes one, or both of, the following:
(A) A prehospital “do not resuscitate” form as developed by the Emergency Medical Services Authority or other substantially similar form.
(B) A Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form, as approved by the Emergency Medical Services Authority.
(3) “Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form” means a request regarding resuscitative measures that directs a health care provider regarding resuscitative and life-sustaining measures.
(b) A legally recognized health care decisionmaker may execute the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form only if the individual lacks capacity, or the individual has designated that the decisionmaker’s authority is effective pursuant to Section 4682.
(c) The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form and medical intervention and procedures offered by the form shall be explained by a health care provider, as defined in Section 4621. The form shall be completed by a health care provider based on patient preferences and medical indications, and signed by a physician, or a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant acting under the supervision of the physician and within the scope of practice authorized by law, and the patient or his or her legally recognized health care decisionmaker. The health care provider, during the process of completing the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form, should inform the patient about the difference between an advance health care directive and the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form.
(d) An individual having capacity may revoke a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form at any time and in any manner that communicates an intent to revoke, consistent with Section 4695.
(e) A request regarding resuscitative measures may also be evidenced by a medallion engraved with the words “do not resuscitate” or the letters “DNR,” a patient identification number, and a 24-hour toll-free telephone number, issued by a person pursuant to an agreement with the Emergency Medical Services Authority.