New York Public Health Section 2994-a - Definitions.

2994-a. Definitions. The following words or phrases, used in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Adult" means any person who is eighteen years of age or older or has married.

2. "Attending physician" means a physician, selected by or assigned to a patient pursuant to hospital policy, who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient. Where more than one physician shares such responsibility, or where a physician is acting on the attending physician's behalf, any such physician may act as an attending physician pursuant to this article.

3. "Cardiopulmonary resuscitation" means measures, as specified in regulations promulgated by the commissioner, to restore cardiac function or to support ventilation in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation shall not include measures to improve ventilation and cardiac function in the absence of an arrest.

4. "Close friend" means any person, eighteen years of age or older, who is a close friend of the patient, or a relative of the patient (other than a spouse, adult child, parent, brother or sister), who has maintained such regular contact with the patient as to be familiar with the patient's activities, health, and religious or moral beliefs, and who presents a signed statement to that effect to the attending physician.

5. "Decision-making capacity" means the ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of proposed health care, including the benefits and risks of and alternatives to proposed health care, and to reach an informed decision.

5-a. "Decisions regarding hospice care" means the decision to enroll or disenroll in hospice, and consent to the hospice plan of care and modifications to that plan.

6. "Developmental disability" means a developmental disability as defined in subdivision twenty-two of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law.

7. "Domestic partner" means a person who, with respect to another person:

(a) is formally a party in a domestic partnership or similar relationship with the other person, entered into pursuant to the laws of the United States or of any state, local or foreign jurisdiction, or registered as the domestic partner of the other person with any registry maintained by the employer of either party or any state, municipality, or foreign jurisdiction; or

(b) is formally recognized as a beneficiary or covered person under the other person's employment benefits or health insurance; or

(c) is dependent or mutually interdependent on the other person for support, as evidenced by the totality of the circumstances indicating a mutual intent to be domestic partners including but not limited to: common ownership or joint leasing of real or personal property; common householding, shared income or shared expenses; children in common; signs of intent to marry or become domestic partners under paragraph (a) or (b) of this subdivision; or the length of the personal relationship of the persons.

Each party to a domestic partnership shall be considered to be the domestic partner of the other party. "Domestic partner" shall not include a person who is related to the other person by blood in a manner that would bar marriage to the other person in New York state. "Domestic partner" also shall not include any person who is less than eighteen years of age or who is the adopted child of the other person or who is related by blood in a manner that would bar marriage in New York state to a person who is the lawful spouse of the other person.

8. "Emancipated minor patient" means a minor patient who is the parent of a child, or who is sixteen years of age or older and living independently from his or her parents or guardian.

9. "Ethics review committee" means the interdisciplinary committee established in accordance with the requirements of section twenty-nine hundred ninety-four-m of this article.

10. "General hospital" means a general hospital as defined in subdivision ten of section twenty-eight hundred one of this chapter excluding a ward, wing, unit or other part of a general hospital operated for the purpose of providing services for persons with mental illness pursuant to an operating certificate issued by the commissioner of mental health.

11. "Guardian of a minor" or "guardian" means a health care guardian or a legal guardian of the person of a minor.

12. "Health care" means any treatment, service, or procedure to diagnose or treat an individual's physical or mental condition. Providing nutrition or hydration orally, without reliance on medical treatment, is not health care under this article and is not subject to this article.

13. "Health care agent" means a health care agent designated by an adult pursuant to article twenty-nine-C of this chapter.

14. "Health care decision" means any decision to consent or refuse to consent to health care.

15. "Health care guardian" means an individual appointed by a court, pursuant to subdivision four of section twenty-nine hundred ninety-four-r of this article, as the guardian of a minor patient solely for the purpose of deciding about life-sustaining treatment pursuant to this article.

16. "Health care provider" means an individual or facility licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or professional practice.

17. "Health or social service practitioner" means a registered professional nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker, licensed or certified pursuant to the education law acting within his or her scope of practice.

17-a. "Hospice" means a hospice as defined in article forty of this chapter, without regard to where the hospice care is provided.

18. "Hospital" means a general hospital, a residential health care facility, or hospice.

19. "Life-sustaining treatment" means any medical treatment or procedure without which the patient will die within a relatively short time, as determined by an attending physician to a reasonable degree of medical certainty. For the purpose of this article, cardiopulmonary resuscitation is presumed to be life-sustaining treatment without the necessity of a determination by an attending physician.

20. "Mental hygiene facility" means a facility operated or licensed by the office of mental health or the office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities as defined in subdivision six of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law.

21. "Mental illness" means a mental illness as defined in subdivision twenty of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law, and does not include dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, or other disorders related to dementia.

22. "Minor" means any person who is not an adult.

23. "Order not to resuscitate" means an order not to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the event a patient suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest.

24. "Parent", for the purpose of a health care decision about a minor patient, means a parent who has custody of, or who has maintained substantial and continuous contact with, the minor patient.

25. "Patient" means a person admitted to a hospital.

26. "Person connected with the case" means the patient, any person on the surrogate list, a parent or guardian of a minor patient, the hospital administrator, an attending physician, any other health or social services practitioner who is or has been directly involved in the patient's care, and any duly authorized state agency, including the facility director or regional director for a patient transferred from a mental hygiene facility and the facility director for a patient transferred from a correctional facility.

27. "Reasonably available" means that a person to be contacted can be contacted with diligent efforts by an attending physician, another person acting on behalf of an attending physician, or the hospital.

28. "Residential health care facility" means a residential health care facility as defined in subdivision three of section twenty-eight hundred one of this chapter.

29. "Surrogate" means the person selected to make a health care decision on behalf of a patient pursuant to section twenty-nine hundred ninety-four-d of this article.

30. "Surrogate list" means the list set forth in subdivision one of section twenty-nine hundred ninety-four-d of this article.

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Last modified: September 11, 2016