As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 32-11-103

  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • 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

(1) “Competent person” means an individual who is able to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of a decision to accept or refuse treatment;

(2) “Declarant” means an individual who declares a living will under this chapter;

(3) “Health care provider,” “health care facility” or “health facility” means a person, facility or institution licensed or authorized to provide health or medical care;

(4) “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;

(5) “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. These include, but are not limited to: surgery; drugs; transfusions; mechanical ventilation; dialysis; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; artificial or forced feeding of nourishment, hydration or other basic nutrients, regardless of the method used; radiation therapy; or any other medical act designed for diagnosis, assessment or treatment or to sustain, restore or supplant vital body function. This part shall not be interpreted to allow the withholding or withdrawal of simple nourishment or fluids so as to condone death by starvation or dehydration unless the provisions of the instrument that creates a living will or durable power of attorney for health care includes the following or substantially the following: “I authorize the withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water or other nourishment or fluids”;

(6) “Organ donation” means a procedure to recover vascular organs following a declaration of death pursuant to § Code Sec. 68-3-501″>68-3-501(b)(2), but prior to removal from artificial support systems;

(7) “Palliative care” includes any measure taken by a physician or health care provider designed primarily to maintain the patient’s comfort. These also include, but are not limited to, sedatives and pain-killing drugs, nonartificial oral feeding, suction, hydration and hygienic care;

(8) “Physician” means any person licensed or permitted to practice medical care under title 63, chapters 6 and 9;

(9) “Terminal condition” means any disease, illness, injury or condition, including, but not limited to, a coma or persistent vegetative state, sustained by any human being, from which there is no reasonable medical expectation of recovery and that, as a medical probability, will result in the death of the human being, regardless of the use or discontinuance of medical treatment implemented for the purpose of sustaining life, or the life processes; and

(10) “Tissue donation” means a procedure to recover tissue following a declaration of death pursuant to § 68-3-501(b)(1), and following removal from artificial support systems.

[Acts 1985, ch. 355, § 3; 1991, ch. 167, § 1; 1991, ch. 344, §§ 1-4; 1992, ch. 951, § 10.]