K.S.A. 58-629

Chapter 58.--PERSONAL AND REAL PROPERTY
Article 6.--POWERS AND LETTERS OF ATTORNEY

      58-629.   Same; authority of agent; limitations on agent's power; persons not to be designated as agents; witnesses and acknowledgment; effect of death of principal. (a) A durable power of attorney for health care decisions may convey to the agent the authority to:

      (1)   Consent, refuse consent, or withdraw consent to any care, treatment, service or procedure to maintain, diagnose or treat a physical or mental condition, and to make decisions about organ donation, autopsy, and disposition of the body;

      (2)   make all necessary arrangements for the principal at any hospital, psychiatric hospital or psychiatric treatment facility, hospice, nursing home or similar institution; to employ or discharge health care personnel to include physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, dentists, nurses, therapists or any other person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this state to administer health care as the agent shall deem necessary for the physical, mental and emotional well being of the principal; and

      (3)   request, receive and review any information, verbal or written, regarding the principal's personal affairs or physical or mental health including medical and hospital records and to execute any releases of other documents that may be required in order to obtain such information.

      (b)   The powers of the agent herein shall be limited to the extent set out in writing in the durable power of attorney for health care decisions, and shall not include the power to revoke or invalidate a previously existing declaration by the principal in accordance with the natural death act. No agent powers conveyed pursuant to this section shall be effective until the occurrence of the principal's impairment as determined by the principal's attending physician, as defined in subsection (a) of K.S.A. 65-28,102 and amendments thereto, unless the durable power of attorney for health care decisions specifically provides otherwise. Nothing in this act shall be construed as prohibiting an agent from providing treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone and care consistent therewith, in lieu of medical care and treatment, in accordance with the tenets and practices of any church or religious denomination of which the principal is a member.

      (c)   In exercising the authority under the durable power of attorney for health care decisions, the agent has a duty to act consistent with the expressed desires of the principal.

      (d)   Neither the treating health care provider, as defined by subsection (c) of K.S.A. 65-4921 and amendments thereto, nor an employee of the treating health care provider, nor an employee, owner, director or officer of a facility described [in] subsection (a)(2) in K.S.A. 58-629 may be designated as the agent to make health care decisions under a durable power of attorney for health care decisions unless:

      (1)   Related to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption; or

      (2)   the principal and agent are members of the same community of persons who are bound by vows to a religious life and who conduct or assist in the conduct of religious services and actually and regularly engage in religious, benevolent, charitable or educational ministrations or the performance of health care services.

      (e)   A durable power of attorney for health care decisions shall be:

      (1)   Dated and signed in the presence of two witnesses at least 18 years of age neither of whom shall be the agent, related to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption, entitled to any portion of the estate of the principal according to the laws of intestate succession of this state or under any will of the principal or codicil thereto, or directly financially responsible for the principal's health care; or

      (2)   acknowledged before a notary public.

      (f)   Death of the principal shall not prohibit or invalidate acts of the agent in arranging for organ donation, autopsy or disposition of body.

      (g)   Any person who in good faith acts pursuant to the terms of a durable power of attorney for health care decisions without knowledge of its invalidity shall be immune from liability that may be incurred or imposed from such action.

      History:   L. 1989, ch. 181, § 5; L. 1994, ch. 224, § 1; L. 2002, ch. 114, § 57; July 1.