Article 4.

Consent to Health Care for Minor.

§ 32A-28.  Purpose.

(a)        The General Assembly recognizes as a matter of public policy the fundamental right of a parent to delegate decisions relating to health care for the parent's minor child where the parent is unavailable for a period of time by reason of travel or otherwise.

(b)        The purpose of this Article is to establish a nonexclusive method for a parent to authorize in the parent's absence consent to health care for the parent's minor child.  This Article is not intended to be in derogation of the common law or of Article 1A of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes. (1993, c. 150, s. 1.)

 

§ 32A-29.  Definitions.

As used in this Article, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the term:

(1)        "Agent" means the person authorized pursuant to this Article to consent to and authorize health care for a minor child.

(2)        "Authorization to consent to health care for minor" means a written instrument, signed by the custodial parent and acknowledged before a notary public, pursuant to which the custodial parent authorizes an agent to authorize and consent to health care for the minor child of the custodial parent, and which substantially meets the requirements of this Article.

(3)        "Custodial parent" means a parent having sole or joint legal custody of that parent's minor child.

(4)        "Health care" means any care, treatment, service or procedure to maintain, diagnose, treat, or provide for a minor child's physical or mental or personal care and comfort, including life sustaining procedures and dental care.

(5)        "Life sustaining procedures" are those forms of care or treatment which only serve to artificially prolong life and may include mechanical ventilation, dialysis, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, and other forms of treatment which sustain, restore, or supplant vital bodily functions, but do not include care necessary to provide comfort or to alleviate pain.

(6)        "Minor or minor child" means an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years and who has not been emancipated. (1993, c. 150.)

 

§ 32A-30.  Who may make an authorization to consent to health care for minor.

Any custodial parent having understanding and capacity to make and communicate health care decisions who is 18 years of age or older or who is emancipated may make an authorization to consent to health care for the parent's minor child. (1993, c. 150, s. 1.)

 

§ 32A-31.  Extent and limitations of authority.

(a)        A custodial parent of a minor child, pursuant to an authorization to consent to health care for minor, may grant an agent full power and authority to consent to and authorize health care for the minor child to the same extent that a custodial parent could give such consent and authorization.

(b)        An authorization to consent to health care for minor may contain, and the authority of the agent designated shall be subject to, any specific limitations or restrictions as the custodial parent deems appropriate.

(c)        A custodial parent may not, pursuant to an authorization to consent to health care for minor, authorize an agent to consent to the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures. (1993, c. 150, s. 1.)

 

§ 32A-32.  Duration of authorization; revocation.

(a)        An authorization to consent to health care for minor shall be automatically revoked as follows:

(1)        If the authorization to consent to health care for minor specifies a date after which it shall not be effective, then the authorization shall be automatically revoked upon such date.

(2)        An authorization to consent to health care for minor shall be revoked upon the minor child's attainment of the age of 18 years or upon the minor child's emancipation.

(3)        An authorization to consent to health care for minor executed by a custodial parent shall be revoked upon the termination of such custodial parent's rights to custody of the minor child.

(b)        An authorization to consent to health care for minor may be revoked at any time by the custodial parent making such authorization.  The custodial parent may exercise such right of revocation by executing and acknowledging an instrument of revocation, by executing and acknowledging a subsequent authorization to consent to health care for the minor, or in any other manner in which the custodial parent is able to communicate the parent's intent to revoke.  Such revocation shall become effective only upon communication by the custodial parent to the agent named in the revoked authorization.

(c)        In the event of a disagreement regarding the health care for a minor child between two or more agents authorized pursuant to this Article to consent to and authorize health care for a minor, or between any such agent and a parent of the minor, whether or not the parent is a custodial parent, then any authorization to consent to health care for minor designating any person as an agent shall be revoked during the period of such disagreement, and the provisions of health care for the minor during such period shall be governed by the common law, the provisions of Article 1A of Chapter 90, and other provisions of law, as if no authorization to consent to health care for minor had been executed.

(d)       An authorization to consent to health care for minor shall not be affected by the subsequent incapacity or mental incompetence of the custodial parent making such authorization. (1993, c. 150, s. 1.)

 

§ 32A-33.  Reliance on authorization to consent to health care for minor.

(a)        Any physician, dentist, or other health care provider involved in the health care of a minor child may rely upon the authority of the agent named in a signed and acknowledged authorization to consent to health care for minor in the absence of actual knowledge that the authorization has been revoked or is otherwise invalid.

(b)        Any consent to health care for a minor child given by an agent pursuant to an authorization to consent to health care for minor shall have the same effect as if the custodial parent making the authorization were present and acting on behalf of the parent's minor child.  Any physician, dentist, or other health care provider relying in good faith on the authority of an agent shall be protected to the full extent of the power conferred upon the agent, and no person so relying on the authority of the agent shall be liable, by reason of reliance, for actions taken pursuant to a consent of the agent. (1993, c. 150, s. 1.)

 

§ 32A-34.  Statutory form authorization to consent to health care for minor.

The use of the following form in the creation of any authorization to consent to health care for minor is lawful and, when used, it shall meet the requirements and be construed in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

 

"Authorization to Consent

to Health Care for Minor."

 

I, ____________, of ____________ County, ____________, am the custodial parent having legal custody of____________, a minor child, age______, born________, ____ .  I authorize____________, an adult in whose care the minor child has been entrusted, and who resides at____________, to do any acts which may be necessary or proper to provide for the health care of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the power (i) to provide for such health care at any hospital or other institution, or the employing of any physician, dentist, nurse, or other person whose services may be needed for such health care, and (ii) to consent to and authorize any health care, including administration of anesthesia, X-ray examination, performance of operations, and other procedures by physicians, dentists, and other medical personnel except the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures.

[Optional:  This consent shall be effective from the date of execution to and including____________,_____].

By signing here, I indicate that I have the understanding and capacity to communicate health care decisions and that I am fully informed as to the contents of this document and understand the full import of this grant of powers to the agent named herein.

 

            (SEAL)

Custodial Parent                                                                                           Date

 

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

 

COUNTY OF

 

On this ________ day of__________, ____,  personally appeared before me the named_________, to me known and known to me to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument and he (or she) acknowledges that he (or she) executed the same and being duly sworn by me, made oath that the statements in the foregoing instrument are true.

 

 

 

Notary Public

 

My Commission Expires:

 

(OFFICIAL SEAL). (1993, c. 150, s. 1; 1999-456, s. 59.)

 

§ 32A-35.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 32A-36.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 32A-37.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 32A-38.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 32A-39.  Reserved for future codification purposes.