Connecticut General Statutes Title 19A. Public Health and Well-Being § 19a-571. Liability re removal of life support system of incapacitated patient. Consideration of wishes of patient

(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, any physician licensed under chapter 370,   1 any advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378   2 or any licensed medical facility who or which withholds, removes or causes the removal of a life support system of an incapacitated patient shall not be liable for damages in any civil action or subject to prosecution in any criminal proceeding for such withholding or removal, provided (1) the decision to withhold or remove such life support system is based on the best medical judgment of the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse in accordance with the usual and customary standards of medical practice;  (2) the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse deems the patient to be in a terminal condition or, in consultation with a physician qualified to make a neurological diagnosis who has examined the patient, deems the patient to be permanently unconscious;  and (3) the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse has considered the patient's wishes concerning the withholding or withdrawal of life support systems.  In the determination of the wishes of the patient, the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse shall consider the wishes as expressed by a document executed in accordance with sections 19a-575 and 19a-575a , if any such document is presented to, or in the possession of, the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse at the time the decision to withhold or terminate a life support system is made.  If the wishes of the patient have not been expressed in a living will the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse shall determine the wishes of the patient by consulting any statement made by the patient directly to the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse and, if available, the patient's health care representative, the patient's next of kin, the patient's legal guardian or conservator, if any, any person designated by the patient in accordance with section 1-56r and any other person to whom the patient has communicated his or her wishes, if the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse has knowledge of such person.  All persons acting on behalf of the patient shall act in good faith.  If the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse does not deem the incapacitated patient to be in a terminal condition or permanently unconscious, beneficial medical treatment including nutrition and hydration must be provided.

(b) A physician qualified to make a neurological diagnosis who is consulted by the attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section shall not be liable for damages or subject to criminal prosecution for any determination made in accordance with the usual and customary standards of medical practice.

(c) In the case of an infant, as defined in 45 CFR 1340.15 (b) , the physician, advanced practice registered nurse or licensed medical facility shall comply with the provisions of 45 CFR 1340.15 (b)(2) in addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

1 C.G.S.A. § 20-8a et seq.
2 C.G.S.A. § 20-87 et seq.

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