(a) The general assembly declares it to be the law of the state of Tennessee that every person has the fundamental and inherent right to die naturally with as much dignity as circumstances permit and to accept, refuse, withdraw from, or otherwise control decisions relating to the rendering of the person’s own medical care, specifically including palliative care and the use of extraordinary procedures and treatment. The general assembly further declares that it is in the public interest to facilitate recovery of organs and/or tissues for transplantation and to provide mechanisms for individuals to express their desire to donate their organs and/or tissues.

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 32-11-102

  • Living will: means a written declaration, pursuant to this chapter, stating declarant's desires for medical care or noncare, including palliative care, and other related matters such as organ donation and body disposal. See Tennessee Code 32-11-103
  • Medical care: includes any procedure or treatment rendered by a physician or health care provider designed to diagnose, assess or treat a disease, illness or injury. See Tennessee Code 32-11-103
  • Palliative care: includes any measure taken by a physician or health care provider designed primarily to maintain the patient's comfort. See Tennessee Code 32-11-103
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

(b) The general assembly does further empower the exercise of this right by written declaration, called a “living will,” as provided in this chapter.

[Acts 1985, ch. 355, § 2; 1991, ch. 344, § 5.]