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§ 5-611. Withholding or withdrawal of treatment; medically ineffective treatment

West's Annotated Code of MarylandHealth--GeneralEffective: October 1, 2013

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Health--General
Title 5. Death (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 6. Health Care Decisions Act (Refs & Annos)
Part I. Advance Directives (Refs & Annos)
Effective: October 1, 2013
MD Code, Health - General, § 5-611
§ 5-611. Withholding or withdrawal of treatment; medically ineffective treatment
In general
(a) Except as provided in § 5-613(a)(3) of this subtitle, nothing in this subtitle may be construed to require a physician or physician assistant to prescribe or render medical treatment to a patient that the physician or physician assistant determines to be ethically inappropriate.
Withholding or withdrawal of medically ineffective treatment
(b)(1) Except as provided in § 5-613(a)(3) of this subtitle, nothing in this subtitle may be construed to require a physician or physician assistant to prescribe or render medically ineffective treatment.
(2)(i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, a patient's attending physician may withhold or withdraw as medically ineffective a treatment that under generally accepted medical practices is life-sustaining in nature only if the patient's attending physician and a second physician certify in writing that the treatment is medically ineffective and the attending physician informs the patient or the patient's agent or surrogate of the physician's decision.
(ii) If the patient is being treated in the emergency department of a hospital and only one physician is available, the certification of a second physician is not required.
End of life prohibitions
(c) Nothing in this subtitle may be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.
Food and water
(d) A health care provider shall make reasonable efforts to provide an individual with food and water by mouth and to assist the individual as needed to eat and drink voluntarily.
Health care agents
(e)(1) Nothing in this subtitle is intended to preclude a separate decision by a health care agent or surrogate regarding the provision of or the withholding or withdrawal of nutrients and fluids administered by artificial means.
(2) Nothing in this subtitle authorizes any action with respect to medical treatment, if the health care provider is aware that the patient for whom the health care is provided has expressed disagreement with the action.

Credits

Added by Acts 1993, c. 372, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2013, c. 273, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013; Acts 2013, c. 274, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013.
MD Code, Health - General, § 5-611, MD HEALTH GEN § 5-611
Current through legislation effective February 15, 2021, from the 2021 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
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