2133.12 Miscellaneous provisions.

(A) The death of a qualified patient or other patient resulting from the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in accordance with sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code does not constitute for any purpose a suicide, aggravated murder, murder, or any other homicide offense.

(B)

(1) The execution of a declaration shall not do either of the following:

(a) Affect the sale, procurement, issuance, or renewal of any policy of life insurance or annuity, notwithstanding any term of a policy or annuity to the contrary;

(b) Be deemed to modify or invalidate the terms of any policy of life insurance or annuity that is in effect on October 10, 1991.

(2) Notwithstanding any term of a policy of life insurance or annuity to the contrary, the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from an insured, qualified patient or other patient in accordance with sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code shall not impair or invalidate any policy of life insurance or annuity.

(3) Notwithstanding any term of a policy or plan to the contrary, the use or continuation, or the withholding or withdrawal, of life-sustaining treatment from an insured, qualified patient or other patient in accordance with sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code shall not impair or invalidate any policy of health insurance or any health care benefit plan.

(4) No physician, health care facility, other health care provider, person authorized to engage in the business of insurance in this state under Title XXXIX [39] of the Revised Code, health insuring corporation, other health care plan, legal entity that is self-insured and provides benefits to its employees or members, or other person shall require any individual to execute or refrain from executing a declaration, or shall require an individual to revoke or refrain from revoking a declaration, as a condition of being insured or of receiving health care benefits or services.

(C)

(1) Sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code do not create any presumption concerning the intention of an individual who has revoked or has not executed a declaration with respect to the use or continuation, or the withholding or withdrawal, of life-sustaining treatment if the individual should be in a terminal condition or in a permanently unconscious state at any time.

(2) Sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code do not affect the right of a qualified patient or other patient to make informed decisions regarding the use or continuation, or the withholding or withdrawal, of life-sustaining treatment as long as the qualified patient or other patient is able to make those decisions.

(3) Sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code do not require a physician, other health care personnel, or a health care facility to take action that is contrary to reasonable medical standards.

(4) Sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code and, if applicable, a declaration do not affect or limit the authority of a physician or a health care facility to provide or not to provide life-sustaining treatment to a person in accordance with reasonable medical standards applicable in an emergency situation.

(D) Nothing in sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code condones, authorizes, or approves of mercy killing, assisted suicide, or euthanasia.

(E)

(1) Sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code do not affect the responsibility of the attending physician of a qualified patient or other patient, or other health care personnel acting under the direction of the patient's attending physician, to provide comfort care to the patient. Nothing in sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code precludes the attending physician of a qualified patient or other patient who carries out the responsibility to provide comfort care to the patient in good faith and while acting within the scope of the attending physician's authority from prescribing, dispensing, administering, or causing to be administered any particular medical procedure, treatment, intervention, or other measure to the patient, including, but not limited to, prescribing, personally furnishing, administering, or causing to be administered by judicious titration or in another manner any form of medication, for the purpose of diminishing the qualified patient's or other patient's pain or discomfort and not for the purpose of postponing or causing the qualified patient's or other patient's death, even though the medical procedure, treatment, intervention, or other measure may appear to hasten or increase the risk of the patient's death. Nothing in sections 2133.01 to 2133.15 of the Revised Code precludes health care personnel acting under the direction of the patient's attending physician who carry out the responsibility to provide comfort care to the patient in good faith and while acting within the scope of their authority from dispensing, administering, or causing to be administered any particular medical procedure, treatment, intervention, or other measure to the patient, including, but not limited to, personally furnishing, administering, or causing to be administered by judicious titration or in another manner any form of medication, for the purpose of diminishing the qualified patient's or other patient's pain or discomfort and not for the purpose of postponing or causing the qualified patient's or other patient's death, even though the medical procedure, treatment, intervention, or other measure may appear to hasten or increase the risk of the patient's death.

(2)

(a) If, at any time, a person described in division (A)(2)(a)(i) of section 2133.05 of the Revised Code or the individual or a majority of the individuals in either of the first two classes of individuals that pertain to a declarant in the descending order of priority set forth in division (A)(2)(a)(ii) of section 2133.05 of the Revised Code believes in good faith that both of the following circumstances apply, the person or the individual or majority of individuals in either of the first two classes of individuals may commence an action in the probate court of the county in which a declarant who is in a terminal condition or permanently unconscious state is located for the issuance of an order mandating the use or continuation of comfort care in connection with the declarant in a manner that is consistent with division (E)(1) of this section:

(i) Comfort care is not being used or continued in connection with the declarant.

(ii) The withholding or withdrawal of the comfort care is contrary to division (E)(1) of this section.

(b) If a declarant did not designate in the declarant's declaration a person as described in division (A)(2)(a)(i) of section 2133.05 of the Revised Code and if, at any time, a priority individual or any member of a priority class of individuals under division (A)(2)(a)(ii) of section 2133.05 of the Revised Code or, at any time, the individual or a majority of the individuals in the next class of individuals that pertains to the declarant in the descending order of priority set forth in that division believes in good faith that both of the following circumstances apply, the priority individual, the member of the priority class of individuals, or the individual or majority of individuals in the next class of individuals that pertains to the declarant may commence an action in the probate court of the county in which a declarant who is in a terminal condition or permanently unconscious state is located for the issuance of an order mandating the use or continuation of comfort care in connection with the declarant in a manner that is consistent with division (E)(1) of this section:

(i) Comfort care is not being used or continued in connection with the declarant.

(ii) The withholding or withdrawal of the comfort care is contrary to division (E)(1) of this section.

(c) If, at any time, a priority individual or any member of a priority class of individuals under division (B) of section 2133.08 of the Revised Code or, at any time, the individual or a majority of the individuals in the next class of individuals that pertains to the patient in the descending order of priority set forth in that division believes in good faith that both of the following circumstances apply, the priority individual, the member of the priority class of individuals, or the individual or majority of individuals in the next class of individuals that pertains to the patient may commence an action in the probate court of the county in which a patient as described in division (A) of section 2133.08 of the Revised Code is located for the issuance of an order mandating the use or continuation of comfort care in connection with the patient in a manner that is consistent with division (E)(1) of this section:

(i) Comfort care is not being used or continued in connection with the patient.

(ii) The withholding or withdrawal of the comfort care is contrary to division (E)(1) of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 2133.12

History. Effective Date: 07-22-1998