§54.1-2983.2. Capacity; required determinations


Published: 2015

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§ 54.1-2983.2. Capacity; required determinations.

A. Every adult shall be presumed to be capable of making an informed decision unless he is determined to be incapable of making an informed decision in accordance with this article. A determination that a patient is incapable of making an informed decision may apply to a particular health care decision, to a specified set of health care decisions, or to all health care decisions. No person shall be deemed incapable of making an informed decision based solely on a particular clinical diagnosis.
B. Prior to providing, continuing, withholding, or withdrawing health care pursuant to an authorization that has been obtained or will be sought pursuant to this article and prior to, or as soon as reasonably practicable after initiating health care for which authorization has been obtained or will be sought pursuant to this article, and no less frequently than every 180 days while the need for health care continues, the attending physician shall certify in writing upon personal examination of the patient that the patient is incapable of making an informed decision regarding health care and shall obtain written certification from a capacity reviewer that, based upon a personal examination of the patient, the patient is incapable of making an informed decision. However, certification by a capacity reviewer shall not be required if the patient is unconscious or experiencing a profound impairment of consciousness due to trauma, stroke, or other acute physiological condition. The capacity reviewer providing written certification that a patient is incapable of making an informed decision, if required, shall not be otherwise currently involved in the treatment of the person assessed, unless an independent capacity reviewer is not reasonably available. The cost of the assessment shall be considered for all purposes a cost of the patient's health care.
C. If, at any time, a patient is determined to be incapable of making an informed decision, the patient shall be notified, as soon as practical and to the extent he is capable of receiving such notice, that such determination has been made before providing, continuing, withholding, or withdrawing health care as authorized by this article. Such notice shall also be provided, as soon as practical, to the patient's agent or person authorized by § 54.1-2986 to make health care decisions on his behalf.
D. A single physician may, at any time, upon personal evaluation, determine that a patient who has previously been determined to be incapable of making an informed decision is now capable of making an informed decision, provided such determination is set forth in writing.
2009, cc. 211, 268; 2010, c. 792.