SENATE, No. 519

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JENNIFER BECK

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires health care representative to make health care decisions for incapacitated patient in accordance with patient’s religious beliefs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning advance directives for health care and amending P.L.1991, c.201.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 9 of P.L.1991, c.201 (C.26:2H-61) is amended to read as follows:

     9.    a.  If it has been determined that the patient lacks decision making capacity, a health care representative shall have authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient.  The health care representative shall act in good faith and within the bounds of the authority granted by the advance directive and by this act. 

     b.    If a different individual has been appointed as the patient's legal guardian, the health care representative shall retain legal authority to make health care decisions on the patient's behalf, unless the terms of the legal guardian's court appointment or other court decree provide otherwise. 

     c.     The conferral of legal authority on the health care representative shall not be construed to impose liability upon the health care representative for any portion of the patient's health care costs. 

     d.    An individual designated as a health care representative or as an alternate health care representative may decline to serve in that capacity. 

     e.     The health care representative shall exercise the patient's right to be informed of the patient's medical condition, prognosis and treatment options, and to give informed consent to, or refusal of, health care. 

     f.     In the exercise of these rights and responsibilities, the health care representative shall seek to make the health care decision the patient would have made had he possessed decision making capacity under the circumstances, or, when the patient's wishes cannot adequately be determined, shall make a health care decision in the best interests of the patient, and in accordance with the patient’s religious beliefs

(cf: P.L.1991, c.201, s.9) 

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the 60th day after enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill amends the “New Jersey Advance Directives for Health Care Act,” P.L.1991, c.201 (C.26:2H-53 et seq.), to provide that a designated health care representative shall make health care decisions in accordance with the patient’s religious beliefs, as well as in the best interests of the patient, as the law currently provides.

     The advance directives law provides that an adult may execute an advance directive, which may include a proxy directive designating a competent adult to act as his health care representative and an instruction directive, stating his general treatment philosophy and objectives or his specific wishes regarding the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of any form of health care, including life-sustaining treatment.