Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 29. Medicine and Other Healing Arts
9/24/2018

§ 54.1-2987.1. Durable Do Not Resuscitate Orders.

A. As used in this section:

"Health care provider" includes, but is not limited to, qualified emergency medical services personnel.

"Person authorized to consent on the patient's behalf" means any person authorized by law to consent on behalf of the patient incapable of making an informed decision or, in the case of a minor child, the parent or parents having custody of the child or the child's legal guardian or as otherwise provided by law.

B. A Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order may be issued by a physician for his patient with whom he has a bona fide physician/patient relationship as defined in the guidelines of the Board of Medicine, and only with the consent of the patient or, if the patient is a minor or is otherwise incapable of making an informed decision regarding consent for such an order, upon the request of and with the consent of the person authorized to consent on the patient's behalf.

C. A Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order or other order regarding life-prolonging procedures executed in accordance with the laws of another state in which such order was executed shall be deemed to be valid for purposes of this article and shall be given effect as provided in this article.

D. If a patient is able to, and does, express to a health care provider or practitioner the desire to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest, such expression shall revoke the provider's or practitioner's authority to follow a Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order. In no case shall any person other than the patient have authority to revoke a Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order executed upon the request of and with the consent of the patient himself.

If the patient is a minor or is otherwise incapable of making an informed decision and the Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order was issued upon the request of and with the consent of the person authorized to consent on the patient's behalf, then the expression by said authorized person to a health care provider or practitioner of the desire that the patient be resuscitated shall so revoke the provider's or practitioner's authority to follow a Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order.

When a Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order has been revoked as provided in this section, a new Order may be issued upon consent of the patient or the person authorized to consent on the patient's behalf.

E. Durable Do Not Resuscitate Orders issued in accordance with this section or deemed valid in accordance with subsection C shall remain valid and in effect until revoked as provided in subsection D or until rescinded, in accordance with accepted medical practice, by the provider who issued the Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order. In accordance with this section and regulations promulgated by the Board of Health, (i) qualified emergency medical services personnel as defined in § 32.1-111.1; (ii) licensed health care practitioners in any facility, program or organization operated or licensed by the Board of Health, the Department of Social Services, or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or operated, licensed or owned by another state agency; and (iii) licensed health care practitioners at any continuing care retirement community registered with the State Corporation Commission pursuant to Chapter 49 (§ 38.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 38.2 are authorized to follow Durable Do Not Resuscitate Orders that are available to them in a form approved by the Board of Health or deemed valid in accordance with subsection C.

F. The provisions of this section shall not authorize any qualified emergency medical services personnel or licensed health care provider or practitioner who is attending the patient at the time of cardiac or respiratory arrest to provide, continue, withhold or withdraw health care if such provider or practitioner knows that taking such action is protested by the patient incapable of making an informed decision. No person shall authorize providing, continuing, withholding or withdrawing health care pursuant to this section that such person knows, or upon reasonable inquiry ought to know, is contrary to the religious beliefs or basic values of a patient incapable of making an informed decision or the wishes of such patient fairly expressed when the patient was capable of making an informed decision. Further, this section shall not authorize the withholding of other medical interventions, such as intravenous fluids, oxygen or other therapies deemed necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.

G. This section shall not prevent, prohibit or limit a physician from issuing a written order, other than a Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order, not to resuscitate a patient in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest in accordance with accepted medical practice.

H. Valid Do Not Resuscitate Orders or Emergency Medical Services Do Not Resuscitate Orders issued before July 1, 1999, pursuant to the then-current law, shall remain valid and shall be given effect as provided in this article.

1992, c. 412; 1994, c. 956; 1998, cc. 564, 628, 630, 803, 854; 1999, c. 814; 2009, cc. 211, 268, 549, 813, 840; 2010, c. 792; 2017, c. 179.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.