New Mexico Statutes Chapter 24. Health and Safety § 24-7A-2. Advance health-care directives

A. An adult or emancipated minor, while having capacity, has the right to make his or her own health-care decisions and may give an individual instruction.  The instruction may be oral or written;  if oral, it must be made by personally informing a health-care provider.  The instruction may be limited to take effect only if a specified condition arises.

B. An adult or emancipated minor, while having capacity, may execute a power of attorney for health care, which may authorize the agent to make any health-care decision the principal could have made while having capacity.  The power must be in writing and signed by the principal.  The power remains in effect notwithstanding the principal's later incapacity under the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act or Article 5 of the Uniform Probate Code.  1  The power may include individual instructions.  Unless related to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption, an agent may not be an owner, operator or employee of a health-care institution at which the principal is receiving care.

C. Unless otherwise specified in a power of attorney for health care, the authority of an agent becomes effective only upon a determination that the principal lacks capacity, and ceases to be effective upon a determination that the principal has recovered capacity.

D. Unless otherwise specified in a written advance health-care directive, a determination that an individual lacks or has recovered capacity or that another condition exists that affects an individual instruction or the authority of an agent, shall be made according to the provisions of Section 11 of the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act .

E. An agent shall make a health-care decision in accordance with the principal's individual instructions, if any, and other wishes to the extent known to the agent.  Otherwise, the agent shall make the decision in accordance with the agent's determination of the principal's best interest.  In determining the principal's best interest, the agent shall consider the principal's personal values to the extent known to the agent.

F. A health-care decision made by an agent for a principal is effective without judicial approval.

G. A written advance health-care directive may include the individual's nomination of a guardian of the person.

1 NMSA 1978, § 45-1-101 et seq.

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