(a) Except as provided in AS 13.52.173 , an adult may give an individual instruction. Except as provided in AS 13.52.177 , the instruction may be oral or written. The instruction may be limited to take effect only if a specified condition arises.

Terms Used In Alaska Statutes 13.52.010

  • advance health care directive: means an individual instruction or a durable power of attorney for health care. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • agent: means an individual designated in a durable power of attorney for health care to make a health care decision for the individual granting the power. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • best interest: means that the benefits to the individual resulting from a treatment outweigh the burdens to the individual resulting from that treatment after assessing

    (A) the effect of the treatment on the physical, emotional, and cognitive functions of the patient. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390

  • durable power of attorney for health care: means a power of attorney that remains in effect when the principal lacks capacity. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • health care: means any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or otherwise affect an individual?s physical or mental condition. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • health care decision: means a decision made by an individual or the individual?s agent, guardian, or surrogate regarding the individual?s health care, including

    (A) selection and discharge of health care providers and institutions. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390

  • health care facility: means a nursing home, a rehabilitation center, a long-term care facility, and any other health care institution that administers health care and that provides overnight stays in the ordinary course of the facility?s business. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • health care institution: means an institution, facility, or agency licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • health care provider: means an individual licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • individual instruction: means an individual?s direction concerning a health care decision for the individual. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • power of attorney: means the designation of an agent to make health care decisions for the individual granting the power. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • primary physician: means a physician designated by an individual, or by the individual?s agent, guardian, or surrogate, to have primary responsibility for the individual?s health care or, in the absence of a designation or if the designated physician is not reasonably available, a physician who undertakes the responsibility. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • state: means a state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. See Alaska Statutes 13.52.390
  • writing: includes printing. See Alaska Statutes 01.10.060

(b) An adult may execute a durable power of attorney for health care, which may authorize the agent to make any health care decision the principal could have made while having capacity. The power remains in effect notwithstanding the principal’s later incapacity and may include individual instructions. The power must be in writing, contain the date of its execution, be signed by the principal, and be witnessed by one of the following methods:

(1) signed by at least two individuals who are personally known by the principal, each of whom witnessed either the signing of the instrument by the principal or the principal’s acknowledgment of the signature of the instrument; or

(2) acknowledged before a notary public at a place in this state.

(c) Unless related to the principal by blood, marriage, or adoption, an agent under a durable power of attorney for health care may not be an owner, operator, or employee of the health care institution at which the principal is receiving care.

(d) A witness for a durable power of attorney for health care may not be

(1) a health care provider employed at the health care institution or health care facility where the principal is receiving health care;

(2) an employee of the health care provider providing health care to the principal, or of the health care institution or health care facility where the principal is receiving health care; or

(3) the agent.

(e) At least one of the individuals used as a witness for a durable power of attorney for health care shall be someone who is not

(1) related to the principal by blood, marriage, or adoption; or

(2) entitled to a portion of the estate of the principal upon the principal’s death under a will or codicil of the principal existing at the time of execution of the durable power of attorney for health care or by operation of law then existing.

(f) Unless otherwise specified in the durable power of attorney for health care, the authority of an agent becomes effective only upon a determination that the principal lacks capacity and ceases to be effective upon a determination that the principal has recovered capacity.

(g) Unless otherwise specified in a written advance health care directive, a determination that a principal lacks or has recovered capacity, or that another condition exists that affects an individual instruction or the authority of an agent, shall be made by

(1) the primary physician, except in the case of mental illness;

(2) a court in the case of mental illness, unless the situation is an emergency; or

(3) the primary physician or another health care provider in the case of mental illness where the situation is an emergency.

(h) An agent shall make a health care decision in accordance with the principal’s individual instructions, if any, and other wishes to the extent known to the agent. Otherwise, the agent shall make the decision in accordance with the agent’s determination of the principal’s best interest. In determining the principal’s best interest, the agent shall consider the principal’s personal values to the extent known to the agent.

(i) A health care decision made by an agent for a principal is effective without judicial approval.

(j) A written advance health care directive may include the individual’s nomination of a guardian of the individual.

(k) Except as provided in AS 13.52.247 (a), an advance health care directive, including an advance health care directive that is made in compliance with the laws of another state, is valid for purposes of this chapter if it complies with this chapter, regardless of where or when it was executed or communicated.

(l) Notwithstanding the sample form provided under AS 13.52.300 , an individual instruction that would be valid by itself under this chapter is valid even if the individual instruction is contained in a writing that also contains a durable power of attorney for health care and the durable power of attorney does not meet the witnessing or other requirements of this chapter.