ARIZONA STATE SENATE
Fifty-Fifth Legislature, Second Regular Session
refusing treatment; right; requirements.
Prohibits a health care institution from imposing any mode of treatment, including vaccination, on a patient who declines the treatment.
Health care institution administrators must ensure each patient, or their
representative, is informed of the patient's right: 1) to consent to or refuse
treatment, except in an emergency; 2) to refuse or withdraw consent for
treatment before treatment is initiated; 3) to be informed of proposed
treatment alternatives, associated risks and possible complications, except in
an emergency; and 4) to be informed of the recovery care center’s policy on
health care (A.A.C.
An adult person may designate another adult individual to make health care decisions on that person's behalf by executing a written health care power of attorney that meets outlined requirements. If a person is physically unable to sign or mark a health care power of attorney, the notary or each witness must verify that the person directly indicated to the notary or witness that the power of attorney expressed the person's wishes and that the person intended to adopt the power of attorney at that time. The individual designated in a health care power of attorney to make health care decisions is an agent entitled to make and communicate these decisions while the principal is unable to do so. An agent's authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal is limited only by the express language of the health care power of attorney or by court order (A.R.S. § 36-3221 and 36-3223).
There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.
Refusal of Treatment
1. Prohibits a health care institution from:
a) imposing any mode of treatment, including vaccination, on a patient who declines the treatment; and
b) threatening to withhold any service from a patient as a result of the treatment refusal.
2. Specifies a health care institution may ask a patient to specify under what circumstances the patient would accept a previously declined treatment but must honor the patient's wishes if the patient has not changed their mind.
3. Allows a minor child's parent or authorized representative to accept any treatment on the minor's behalf, including a treatment that the patient has previously declined.
Leaving a Health Care Institution
4. Specifies that a patient has the right to leave a health care institution at any time.
5. Allows an authorized person, if the patient becomes incapacitated, to exercise the patient's right to leave a health care institution on the patient's behalf.
6. Allows a minor child's parent, if the patient becomes incapacitated, to exercise the patient's right to leave a health care institution on the patient's behalf, unless the patient has written that they do not wish the parent to have this authority.
7. Requires a health care institution that violates a patient's right to refuse treatment to pay damages of $20,000 per violation per patient, adjusted for inflation and in addition to the reasonable attorney fees and costs of suit, to any person who prevails in challenging a violation.
8. Grants patients standing to assert a violation of their right to refuse treatment.
9. Specifies that, in the event of a patient's death, the patient's surviving parties have the right to maintain an action for the violation of the patient's right to refuse treatment.
10. Prohibits claims of violations of a patient's right to refuse treatment from being waived.
11. Specifies that, for the avoidance of doubt, persons bringing or defending a violation claim have the right to try the case to a jury, which does not abrogate in any way the person's other rights to a trial by jury for the violation of other laws or indicate a legislative intent that the right to a jury trial must be specified.
12. Requires the superior court in each county to hear claims of violations of a patient's right to leave a hospital and to enter judgment of whether preliminary injunctive relief should be granted within 24 hours, including holidays and weekends.
13. Requires preliminary injunctive relief to be granted if it appears that the patient wishes to leave the health care institution or that the parent wishes the patient to be discharged and the patient is an incapacitated minor child.
14. Specifies that a tracking or monitoring device is considered to be a mode of treatment, whether or not it is directly related to a patient's treatment.
15. Declares the Legislature’s intent that the public policy of the state that the right to refuse treatment, including vaccination, is a fundamental right.
16. Becomes effective on the general effective date.
Prepared by Senate Research
February 7, 2022