HEALTH AND SAFETY
THE MEDICAL CONSENT AND NATURAL DEATH ACT
39-4509. Statement of policy — Definition. For purposes of sections 39-4509 through 39-4515, Idaho Code:
(1) The legislature recognizes the established common law and the fundamental right of competent persons to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their health care, including the decision to have artificial life-sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn. The legislature further finds that modern medical technology has made possible the artificial prolongation of human life beyond natural limits. The legislature further finds that persons are sometimes unable to express their desire to withhold or withdraw such artificial life-sustaining treatment that provides nothing medically necessary or beneficial to the person because of the person’s inability to communicate with the attending licensed independent practitioner.
(2) In recognition of the dignity and privacy that persons have a right to expect, the legislature hereby declares that the laws of this state shall recognize the right of a competent person to have his or her wishes for health care services and for the withdrawal of artificial life-sustaining treatment carried out even though that person is no longer able to communicate with the attending licensed independent practitioner.
(3) It is the intent of the legislature to establish an effective means for such communication. It is not the intent of the legislature that the procedures described in sections 39-4509 through 39-4515, Idaho Code, are the only effective means of such communication, and nothing in sections 39-4509 through 39-4515, Idaho Code, shall impair or supersede any legal right or legal responsibility that a person may have to effect the withholding or withdrawal of artificial life-sustaining treatment in any lawful manner, provided that this sentence shall not be construed to authorize any violation of section 39-4514(3), Idaho Code. Any authentic expression of a person’s wishes with respect to health care services should be honored.
(4) "Competent person" means any person who meets the requirements of section 39-4503, Idaho Code.
[(39-4509) 39-4508, added 2005, ch. 120, sec. 2, p. 383; am. and redesig. 2007, ch. 196, sec. 9, p. 584; am. 2012, ch. 302, sec. 7, p. 829; am. 2012, ch. 305, sec. 1, p. 844; am. 2023, ch. 307, sec. 9, p. 927.]