Terms Used In South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-3

  • Adult: any person who is not a minor as defined in chapter 26-1. See South Dakota Codified Laws 2-14-2
  • Attending physician: the physician who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient. See South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-1
  • Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of court.
  • Close friend: any adult who has provided significant care and exhibited concern for the patient, and has maintained regular contact with the patient so as to be familiar with the patient's activities, health, and religious or moral beliefs. See South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-1
  • Good faith: an honest intention to abstain from taking any unconscientious advantage of another, even through the forms or technicalities of law, together with an absence of all information or belief of facts which would render the transaction unconscientious. See South Dakota Codified Laws 2-14-2
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Health care: any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat a person's physical or mental condition. See South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-1
  • Health care decision: the determination of the health care to be provided to a person. See South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-1
  • Incapacitated person: any person who is incapable of giving informed consent to health care. See South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-1
  • Person: includes natural persons, partnerships, associations, cooperative corporations, limited liability companies, and corporations. See South Dakota Codified Laws 2-14-2
  • Person available to consent: any person who is authorized to make a health care decision for an incapacitated person and whose existence is known to the health care provider and who, in the good faith judgment of the health care provider, is reasonably available for consultation and is willing and competent to make an informed health care decision. See South Dakota Codified Laws 34-12C-1
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
In the absence of a durable power of attorney for health care or the appointment of a guardian of the person, or if neither the attorney in fact nor guardian is available to consent, a health care decision for an incapacitated person may be made by the following persons or members of the incapacitated person’s family who are available to consent, in the order stated:
             (1)      The spouse, if not legally separated;
             (2)      An adult child;
             (3)      A parent;
             (4)      An adult sibling;
             (5)      A grandparent or an adult grandchild;
             (6)      An adult aunt or uncle, adult cousin, or an adult niece or nephew;
             (7)      Close friend.
     However, any person may, before a judicial adjudication of incompetence or incapacity, disqualify any member of the person’s family from making a health care decision for the person. The disqualification shall appear in a document signed by the person or may be made by a notation in the person’s medical record, if made at the person’s direction.
     Any member of the incapacitated person’s family may delegate the authority to make a health care decision to another family member in the same or succeeding class. The delegation shall be signed and may specify conditions on the authority delegated.
     Any person authorized to make a health care decision for an incapacitated person shall be guided by the express wishes of the incapacitated person, if known, and shall otherwise act in good faith, in the incapacitated person’s best interest, and may not arbitrarily refuse consent. Whenever making any health care decision for the incapacitated person, the person available to consent shall consider the recommendation of the attending physician, the decision the incapacitated person would have made if the incapacitated person then had decisional capacity, if known, and the decision that would be in the best interest of the incapacitated person.