"An Act relating to the validity of advance health care directives, individual health care instructions, and do not resuscitate orders; relating to the revocation of advance health care directives; relating to do not resuscitate orders; relating to resuscitative measures; relating to the liability and discipline of health care providers, institutions, and facilities; relating to proceedings for judicial relief; relating to an individual's capacity for making health care decisions; and providing for an effective date. "
"The Health Care Decisions Act has been beneficial and important for all Alaskans in letting terminally ill patients have their wishes heard. House Bill 442 helps caregivers carry out those wishes."
- Rep. Weyhrauch
Passage of the Health Care Decisions Act ("Alaska Act") in 2004, was an important step forward in modernizing and improving Alaska's health care laws for the terminally ill, their families, and loved ones. House Bill 442 makes minor changes to the Alaska Act in order to provide clearer direction to those implementing health care decisions.
Current law imposes a duty of investigation upon doctors when carrying out the health care directives of their patients. House Bill 442 amends the current statute to conform the language in the Alaska Act to Uniform Act language, thus requiring a doctor to act in "good faith" when time is often critical for their patients. The bill also substitutes the word "physician" for "attending physician", to clarify the intent that all physicians treating a patient adhere to the patient's advanced health care directives. Finally, House Bill 442 clarifies when CPR may be used, addresses the validity of orders from other jurisdictions, and indicates under what circumstances a Do Not Resuscitate order may be revoked.
The Health Care Decisions Act has been beneficial and important for all Alaskans in letting terminally ill patients have their wishes heard. House Bill 442 helps caregivers carry out those wishes.