California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 637


Introduced by Assembly Member Campos

February 24, 2015


An act to amend Section 4780 of the Probate Code, relating to resuscitative measures.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 637, as introduced, Campos. Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment forms.

Existing law defines a request regarding resuscitative measures to mean a written document, signed by an individual, as specified, and the physician, that directs a health care provider regarding resuscitative measures, and includes a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form (POLST form). Existing law requires a physician to treat a patient in accordance with the POLST form and specifies the criteria for creation of a POLST form, including that the form be completed by a health care provider based on patient preferences and medical indications, and signed by a physician and the patient or his or her legally recognized health care decisionmaker.

This bill would authorize the signature of a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant acting under the supervision of the physician and within the scope of practice authorized by law to create a valid POLST form.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 4780 of the Probate Code is amended to
2read:

3

4780.  

(a) As used in this part:

4(1) “Request regarding resuscitative measures” means a written
5document, signed by (A) an individual with capacity, or a legally
6recognized health care decisionmaker, and (B) the individual’s
7physician, that directs a health care provider regarding resuscitative
8measures. A request regarding resuscitative measures is not an
9advance health care directive.

10(2) “Request regarding resuscitative measures” includes one,
11or both of, the following:

12(A) A prehospital “do not resuscitate” form as developed by
13the Emergency Medical Services Authority or other substantially
14similar form.

15(B) A Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form, as
16approved by the Emergency Medical Services Authority.

17(3) “Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form”
18means a request regarding resuscitative measures that directs a
19health care provider regarding resuscitative and life-sustaining
20measures.

21(b) A legally recognized health care decisionmaker may execute
22the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form only if
23the individual lacks capacity, or the individual has designated that
24the decisionmaker’s authority is effective pursuant to Section 4682.

25(c) The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form
26and medical intervention and procedures offered by the form shall
27be explained by a health care provider, as defined in Section 4621.
28The form shall be completed by a health care provider based on
29patient preferences and medical indications, and signed by a
30physicianbegin insert, or a nurse practitioner or a physicianend insertbegin insert assistant acting
31under the supervision of the end insert
begin insertphysician and within the scope of
32practice authorized by law,end insert
and the patient or his or her legally
33recognized health care decisionmaker. The health care provider,
34during the process of completing the Physician Orders for Life
35Sustaining Treatment form, should inform the patient about the
36difference between an advance health care directive and the
37Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form.

P3    1(d) An individual having capacity may revoke a Physician
2Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form at any time and in any
3manner that communicates an intent to revoke, consistent with
4Section 4695.

5(e) A request regarding resuscitative measures may also be
6evidenced by a medallion engraved with the words “do not
7resuscitate” or the letters “DNR,” a patient identification number,
8and a 24-hour toll-free telephone number, issued by a person
9pursuant to an agreement with the Emergency Medical Services
10Authority.



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