Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB

DIVISION 4.7. HEALTH CARE DECISIONS [4600 - 4806]

  ( Division 4.7 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. )

PART 1. DEFINITIONS AND GENERAL [4600 - 4665]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. )

CHAPTER 2. General Provisions [4650 - 4660]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. )

4650.
  

The Legislature finds the following:

(a) In recognition of the dignity and privacy a person has a right to expect, the law recognizes that an adult has the fundamental right to control the decisions relating to his or her own health care, including the decision to have life-sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn.

(b) Modern medical technology has made possible the artificial prolongation of human life beyond natural limits. In the interest of protecting individual autonomy, this prolongation of the process of dying for a person for whom continued health care does not improve the prognosis for recovery may violate patient dignity and cause unnecessary pain and suffering, while providing nothing medically necessary or beneficial to the person.

(c) In the absence of controversy, a court is normally not the proper forum in which to make health care decisions, including decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4651.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided, this division applies to health care decisions for adults who lack capacity to make health care decisions for themselves.

(b) This division does not affect any of the following:

(1) The right of an individual to make health care decisions while having the capacity to do so.

(2) The law governing health care in an emergency.

(3) The law governing health care for unemancipated minors.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4652.
  

This division does not authorize consent to any of the following on behalf of a patient:

(a) Commitment to or placement in a mental health treatment facility.

(b) Convulsive treatment (as defined in Section 5325 of the Welfare and Institutions Code).

(c) Psychosurgery (as defined in Section 5325 of the Welfare and Institutions Code).

(d) Sterilization.

(e) Abortion.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4653.
  

Nothing in this division shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing, assisted suicide, or euthanasia. This division is not intended to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than withholding or withdrawing health care pursuant to an advance health care directive, by a surrogate, or as otherwise provided, so as to permit the natural process of dying.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4654.
  

This division does not authorize or require a health care provider or health care institution to provide health care contrary to generally accepted health care standards applicable to the health care provider or health care institution.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4655.
  

(a) This division does not create a presumption concerning the intention of a patient who has not made or who has revoked an advance health care directive.

(b) In making health care decisions under this division, a patient’s attempted suicide shall not be construed to indicate a desire of the patient that health care be restricted or inhibited.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4656.
  

Death resulting from withholding or withdrawing health care in accordance with this division does not for any purpose constitute a suicide or homicide or legally impair or invalidate a policy of insurance or an annuity providing a death benefit, notwithstanding any term of the policy or annuity to the contrary.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4657.
  

A patient is presumed to have the capacity to make a health care decision, to give or revoke an advance health care directive, and to designate or disqualify a surrogate. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4658.
  

Unless otherwise specified in a written advance health care directive, for the purposes of this division, a determination that a patient lacks or has recovered capacity, or that another condition exists that affects an individual health care instruction or the authority of an agent or surrogate, shall be made by the primary physician.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

4659.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), none of the following persons may make health care decisions as an agent under a power of attorney for health care or a surrogate under this division:

(1) The supervising health care provider or an employee of the health care institution where the patient is receiving care.

(2) An operator or employee of a community care facility or residential care facility where the patient is receiving care.

(b) The prohibition in subdivision (a) does not apply to the following persons:

(1) An employee, other than the supervising health care provider, who is related to the patient by blood, marriage, or adoption, or is a registered domestic partner of the patient.

(2) An employee, other than the supervising health care provider, who is employed by the same health care institution, community care facility, or residential care facility for the elderly as the patient.

(c) A conservator under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code) may not be designated as an agent or surrogate to make health care decisions by the conservatee, unless all of the following are satisfied:

(1) The advance health care directive is otherwise valid.

(2) The conservatee is represented by legal counsel.

(3) The lawyer representing the conservatee signs a certificate stating in substance:

“I am a lawyer authorized to practice law in the state where this advance health care directive was executed, and the principal or patient was my client at the time this advance directive was executed. I have advised my client concerning his or her rights in connection with this advance directive and the applicable law and the consequences of signing or not signing this advance directive, and my client, after being so advised, has executed this advance directive.”

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 230, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2002.)

4660.
  

A copy of a written advance health care directive, revocation of an advance directive, or designation or disqualification of a surrogate has the same effect as the original.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

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