HEALTH AND SAFETY
THE MEDICAL CONSENT AND NATURAL DEATH ACT
39-4514. General provisions. (1) Application. Except as specifically provided herein, sections 39-4510 through 39-4512B, Idaho Code, shall have no effect or be in any manner construed to apply to persons not executing a living will and durable power of attorney for health care, POST form or other health care directive pursuant to this chapter nor shall these sections in any manner affect the rights of any such persons or of others acting for or on behalf of such persons to give or refuse to give consent or withhold consent for any medical care; neither shall sections 39-4510 through 39-4512B, Idaho Code, be construed to affect chapter 3 or chapter 4, title 66, Idaho Code, in any manner.
(2) Euthanasia, mercy killing, or assisted suicide. This chapter does not make legal, and in no way condones, euthanasia, mercy killing, or assisted suicide or permit an affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life, including any act or omission described in section 18-4017, Idaho Code, other than to allow the natural process of dying.
(3) Withdrawal of care. Assisted feeding or artificial nutrition and hydration may not be withdrawn or denied if its provision is directed by a competent patient in accordance with section 39-4503, Idaho Code, by a patient’s health care directive under section 39-4510, Idaho Code, or by a patient’s surrogate decision-maker in accordance with section 39-4504, Idaho Code. Health care necessary to sustain life or to provide appropriate comfort for a patient other than assisted feeding or artificial nutrition and hydration may not be withdrawn or denied if its provision is directed by a competent patient in accordance with section 39-4503, Idaho Code, by a patient’s health care directive under section 39-4510, Idaho Code, or by a patient’s surrogate decision-maker in accordance with section 39-4504, Idaho Code, unless such care would be futile care as defined in subsection (6) of this section. Except as specifically provided in chapters 3 and 4, title 66, Idaho Code, health care, assisted feeding or artificial nutrition and hydration, the denial of which is directed by a competent patient in accordance with section 39-4503, Idaho Code, by a patient’s health care directive under section 39-4510, Idaho Code, or by a patient’s surrogate decision-maker in accordance with section 39-4504, Idaho Code, shall be withdrawn and denied in accordance with a valid directive. This subsection does not require provision of treatment to a patient if it would require denial of the same or similar treatment to another patient.
(4) Comfort care. Persons caring for a person for whom artificial life-sustaining procedures or artificially administered nutrition and hydration are withheld or withdrawn shall provide comfort care as defined in section 39-4502, Idaho Code.
(5) Presumed consent to resuscitation. There is a presumption in favor of consent to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) unless:
(a) CPR is contrary to the person’s advance directive and/or POST;
(b) The person’s surrogate decision-maker has communicated the person’s unconditional wishes not to receive CPR;
(c) The person’s surrogate decision-maker has communicated the person’s conditional wishes not to receive CPR and those conditions have been met;
(d) The person has a proper POST identification device pursuant to section 39-4502(15), Idaho Code; or
(e) The attending health care provider has executed a DNR order consistent with the person’s prior expressed wishes or the directives of the legally authorized surrogate decision-maker.
(6) Futile care. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require medical treatment that is medically inappropriate or futile; provided that this subsection does not authorize any violation of subsection (3) of this section. Futile care does not include comfort care. Futile care is a course of treatment:
(a) For a patient with a terminal condition for whom, in reasonable medical judgment, death is imminent within hours or at most a few days whether or not the medical treatment is provided and that, in reasonable medical judgment, will not improve the patient’s condition; or
(b) The denial of which in reasonable medical judgment will not result in or hasten the patient’s death.
(7) Existing directives and directives from other states. A health care directive executed prior to July 1, 2012, but which was in the living will, durable power of attorney for health care, DNR, or POST form pursuant to prior Idaho law at the time of execution, or in another form that contained the elements set forth in this chapter at the time of execution, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this chapter. Health care directives or similar documents executed in another state that substantially comply with this chapter shall be deemed to be in compliance with this chapter. This section shall be liberally construed to give the effect to any authentic expression of the person’s prior wishes or directives concerning his or her health care.
(a) The making of a living will and/or durable power of attorney for health care, physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) form, or DNR order pursuant to this chapter shall not restrict, inhibit or impair in any manner the sale, procurement or issuance of any policy of life insurance, nor shall it be deemed to modify the terms of an existing policy of life insurance. No policy of life insurance shall be legally impaired or invalidated in any manner by the withholding or withdrawal of artificial life-sustaining procedures from an insured person, notwithstanding any term of the policy to the contrary.
(b) No physician, health care facility or other health care provider and no health care service plan, insurer issuing disability insurance, self-insured employee plan, welfare benefit plan or nonprofit hospital service plan shall require any person to execute a living will and durable power of attorney for health care or physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) form, or DNR order as a condition for being insured for, or receiving, health care services.
(9) Portability and copies.
(a) A physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) form that meets the requirements of section 39-4512A, Idaho Code, shall be transferred with the person to, and be effective in, all care settings including, but not limited to, home care, ambulance or other transport, hospital, residential care facility, and hospice care. The POST form shall remain in effect until such time as there is a valid revocation pursuant to section 39-4511A, Idaho Code, or new orders are issued by a physician, APPN or PA.
(b) A photostatic, facsimile or electronic copy of a valid physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) form may be treated as an original by a health care provider or by an institution receiving or treating a person.
(10) Registration. A directive or the revocation of a directive meeting the requirements of this chapter may be registered with the department of health and welfare pursuant to section 39-4515, Idaho Code. Failure to register the health care directive shall not affect the validity of the health care directive.
(11) Rulemaking authority.
(a) The department of health and welfare shall adopt those rules and protocols necessary to administer the provisions of this chapter.
(b) In the adoption of a physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) or DNR protocol, the department shall adopt standardized POST identification devices to be used statewide.
[39-4514, added 2005, ch. 120, sec. 2, p. 389; am. 2007, ch. 196, sec. 17, p. 592; am. 2012, ch. 302, sec. 14, p. 836; am. 2012, ch. 305, sec. 3, p. 845; am. 2013, ch. 151, sec. 1, p. 349; am. 2013, ch. 187, sec. 5, p. 450; am. 2017, ch. 273, sec. 4, p. 714; am. 2020, ch. 297, sec. 2, p. 858.]