New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law - PBH § 2963. Determination of capacity to make a decision regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation

1. Every adult shall be presumed to have the capacity to make a decision regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation unless determined otherwise pursuant to this section or pursuant to a court order or unless a guardian is authorized to decide about health care for the adult pursuant to article eighty-one of the mental hygiene law or article seventeen-A of the surrogate's court procedure act.  The attending physician or attending nurse practitioner shall not rely on the presumption stated in this subdivision if clinical indicia of incapacity are present.

2. A determination that an adult patient lacks capacity shall be made by the attending physician or attending nurse practitioner to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.  The determination shall be made in writing and shall contain such attending physician's or attending nurse practitioner's opinion regarding the cause and nature of the patient's incapacity as well as its extent and probable duration.  The determination shall be included in the patient's medical chart.

3. (a) At least one other physician, selected by a person authorized by the hospital to make such selection, must concur in the determination that an adult lacks capacity.  The concurring determination shall be made in writing after personal examination of the patient and shall contain the physician's opinion regarding the cause and nature of the patient's incapacity as well as its extent and probable duration.  Each concurring determination shall be included in the patient's medical chart.

(b) If the attending physician or attending nurse practitioner determines that a patient lacks capacity because of mental illness, the concurring determination required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall be provided by a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York state, who is a diplomate or eligible to be certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or who is certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry or is eligible to be certified by that board.

(c) If the attending physician or attending nurse practitioner determines that a patient lacks capacity because of a developmental disability, the concurring determination required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall be provided by a physician or psychologist employed by a developmental disabilities services office named in section 13.17 of the mental hygiene law , or who has been employed for a minimum of two years to render care and service in a facility operated or licensed by the office for people with developmental disabilities, or who has been approved by the commissioner of developmental disabilities in accordance with regulations promulgated by such commissioner.  Such regulations shall require that a physician or psychologist possess specialized training or three years experience in treating developmental disabilities.

4. Notice of a determination that the patient lacks capacity shall promptly be given (a) to the patient, where there is any indication of the patient's ability to comprehend such notice, together with a copy of a statement prepared in accordance with section twenty-nine hundred seventy-eight of this article, and (b) to the person on the surrogate list highest in order of priority listed, when persons in prior subparagraphs are not reasonably available.  Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude or require notice to more than one person on the surrogate list.

5. A determination that a patient lacks capacity to make a decision regarding an order not to resuscitate pursuant to this section shall not be construed as a finding that the patient lacks capacity for any other purpose.


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