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Recently, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that became effective July 3, 2015.  Such bill amends A.R.S. §36-3209 to include language that specifically states that a health care directive, such as Health Care Power of Attorney or Living Will, or the decision of a patient’s agent, is presumed to represent the decision of the patient. The change to the law was made to address a national movement which seeks an alternative approach to care for patients facing terminal diagnoses where a physician (instead of the patient) signs an order listing the care a patient can receive (also known as “POLST”).

A.R.S. §36-3209 states that if a POLST or similar physician order conflicts with a health care directive, the health care directive is presumed to represent the patient’s wishes.

Laura M. Trujillo