1. An adult or emancipated minor may give an individual instruction. The instruction may be oral or written. The instruction may be limited to take effect only if a specified condition arises.
  2. An adult or emancipated minor may execute an advance directive for health care, which may authorize the agent to make any health care decision the principal could have made while having capacity. The advance directive must be in writing and signed by the principal. The advance directive must either be notarized or witnessed by two (2) witnesses. An advance directive remains in effect notwithstanding the principal’s last incapacity and may include individual instructions. For the purposes of this section, a witness shall be a competent adult, who is not the agent, and at least one (1) of whom is not related to the principal by blood, marriage, or adoption and would not be entitled to any portion of the estate of the principal upon the death of the principal under any will or codicil made by the principal existing at the time of execution of the advance directive or by operation of law then existing. A written advance directive shall contain an attestation clause that attests that the witnesses comply with the requirements of this subsection (b).
  3. Terms Used In Tennessee Code 68-11-1803

    • Advance directive: means an individual instruction or a written statement relating to the subsequent provision of health care for the individual, including, but not limited to, a living will or a durable power of attorney for health care. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Agent: means an individual designated in an advance directive for health care to make a health care decision for the individual granting the power. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Capacity: means an individual's ability to understand the significant benefits, risks, and alternatives to proposed health care and to make and communicate a health care decision. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
    • Designated physician: means a physician designated by an individual or 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 such responsibility. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
    • Health care: means any care, treatment, service or procedure to maintain, diagnose, treat, or otherwise affect an individual's physical or mental condition, and includes medical care as defined in §. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Health care decision: means consent, refusal of consent or withdrawal of consent to health care. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Health care provider: means a person who is licensed, certified or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of business in practicing of a profession. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Individual instruction: means an individual's direction concerning a health care decision for the individual. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Minor: means any person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • Person: means an individual, corporation, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • Physician: means an individual authorized to practice medicine or osteopathy under title 63, chapter 6 or 9. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • 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
    • Power of attorney for health care: means the designation of an agent to make health care decisions for the individual granting the power. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • signed: includes a mark, the name being written near the mark and witnessed, or any other symbol or methodology executed or adopted by a party with intention to authenticate a writing or record, regardless of being witnessed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • State: means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. See Tennessee Code 68-11-1802
    • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

  4. Unless otherwise specified in an advance directive, 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.
  5. A determination that an individual lacks or has recovered capacity, or that another condition exists that affects an individual instruction or the authority of an agent, must be made by the designated physician. In making such determination, a designated physician is authorized to consult with such other persons as the physician may deem appropriate.
  6. 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.
  7. A health care decision made by an agent for a principal is effective without judicial approval.
  8. An advance directive may include the individual’s nomination of a guardian of the person.
  9. An advance directive that is executed outside of this state by a nonresident of this state at the time of execution shall be given effect in this state, if that advance directive is in compliance with either this part or the laws of the state of the principal’s residence.
  10. No health care provider or institution, and no health care service plan, insurer issuing disability insurance, self-insured employee welfare benefit plan, or nonprofit hospital plan, shall require the issuance, execution or revocation of an organ donation consent form or advance directive as a condition for being insured for, or receiving health care.
  11. Any living will, durable power of attorney for health care, or other instrument signed by the individual, complying with the terms of title 32, chapter 11, and a durable power of attorney for health care complying with the terms of title 34, chapter 6, part 2, shall be given effect and interpreted in accord with those respective acts. Any advance directive that does not evidence an intent to be given effect under those acts, but that complies with this part may be treated as an advance directive under this part.