New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law - PBH § 2961. Definitions

The following words or phrases, as used in this article, shall have the following meanings unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “Adult” means any person who is eighteen years of age or older, or is the parent of a child, or has married.

2. “Attending physician” means the physician selected by or assigned to a patient in a hospital who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.  Where more than one physician and/or nurse practitioner shares such responsibility, any such physician or nurse practitioner may act as the attending physician or attending nurse practitioner pursuant to this article.

2-a. “Attending nurse practitioner” means the nurse practitioner selected by or assigned to a patient in a hospital who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.  Where more than one physician and/or nurse practitioner shares such responsibility, any such physician or nurse practitioner may act as the attending physician or attending nurse practitioner pursuant to this article.

3. “Capacity” means the ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of an order not to resuscitate, including the benefits and disadvantages of such an order, and to reach an informed decision regarding the order.

4. “Cardiopulmonary resuscitation” means measures to restore cardiac function or to support ventilation in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest.  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation shall not include measures to improve ventilation and cardiac functions in the absence of an arrest.

5. “Close friend” means any person, eighteen years of age or older, who is a close friend of the patient, or relative of the patient (other than a spouse, adult child, parent, brother or sister) who has maintained such regular contact with the patient as to be familiar with the patient's activities, health, and religious or moral beliefs and who presents a signed statement to that effect to the attending physician or attending nurse practitioner.

5-a. “Correctional facilities medical care personnel” means personnel engaged in providing health care at correctional facilities, as that term is defined in subdivision four of section two of the correction law .

6. “Developmental disability” means a developmental disability as defined in subdivision twenty-two of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law .

6-a. “Domestic partner” means a person who, with respect to another person:

(a) is formally a party in a domestic partnership or similar relationship with the other person, entered into pursuant to the laws of the United States or of any state, local or foreign jurisdiction, or registered as the domestic partner of the other person with any registry maintained by the employer of either party or any state, municipality, or foreign jurisdiction;  or

(b) is formally recognized as a beneficiary or covered person under the other person's employment benefits or health insurance;  or

(c) is dependent or mutually interdependent on the other person for support, as evidenced by the totality of the circumstances indicating a mutual intent to be domestic partners including but not limited to:  common ownership or joint leasing of real or personal property;  common householding, shared income or shared expenses;  children in common;  signs of intent to marry or become domestic partners under paragraph (a) or (b) of this subdivision;  or the length of the personal relationship of the persons.

Each party to a domestic partnership shall be considered to be the domestic partner of the other party.  “Domestic partner” shall not include a person who is related to the other person by blood in a manner that would bar marriage to the other person in New York state.  “Domestic partner” also shall not include any person who is less than eighteen years of age or who is the adopted child of the other person or who is related by blood in a manner that would bar marriage in New York state to a person who is the lawful spouse of the other person.

8. “Health care agent” means a health care agent of the patient designated pursuant to article twenty-nine-C of this chapter.

9. “Hospital” means a hospital as defined in subdivision ten of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law or a school named in section 13.17 of the mental hygiene law .

11. “Hospitalization” means the period during which a person is a patient in, or a resident of, a hospital.

12. “Medically futile” means that cardiopulmonary resuscitation will be unsuccessful in restoring cardiac and respiratory function or that the patient will experience repeated arrest in a short time period before death occurs.

14. “Mental illness” means a mental illness as defined in subdivision twenty of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law , provided, however, that mental illness shall not include dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease or other disorders related to dementia.

15. “Minor” means any person who is not an adult.

16. “Nurse practitioner” means a nurse practitioner certified pursuant to section sixty-nine hundred ten of the education law who is practicing in accordance with subdivision three of section sixty-nine hundred two of the education law .

17. “Order not to resuscitate” means an order not to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the event a patient suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest.

18. “Parent” means a parent who has custody of the minor.

19. “Patient” means a person admitted to a hospital.

20. “Reasonably available” means that a person to be contacted can be contacted with diligent efforts by an attending physician, attending nurse practitioner or another person acting on behalf of the attending physician, attending nurse practitioner or the hospital.

21. “Surrogate” means the person selected to make a decision regarding resuscitation on behalf of another person pursuant to section twenty-nine hundred sixty-five of this article.

22. “Surrogate list” means the list set forth in subdivision two of section twenty-nine hundred sixty-five of this article.

23. “Terminal condition” means an illness or injury from which there is no recovery, and which reasonably can be expected to cause death within one year.


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