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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 186-S.F.No. 218 
           An act relating to health; amending the bill of rights 
          for patients and residents of health facilities; 
          requiring health facilities to notify family members 
          of the admission of a patient or resident under 
          certain circumstances; amending Minnesota Statutes 
          1988, section 144.651, subdivision 10. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 144.651, 
subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 10.  [PARTICIPATION IN PLANNING TREATMENT; 
NOTIFICATION OF FAMILY MEMBERS.] (a) Patients and residents 
shall have the right to participate in the planning of their 
health care.  This right includes the opportunity to discuss 
treatment and alternatives with individual caregivers, the 
opportunity to request and participate in formal care 
conferences, and the right to include a family member or other 
chosen representative.  In the event that the patient or 
resident cannot be present, a family member or other 
representative chosen by the patient or resident may be included 
in such conferences.  
    (b) If a patient or resident who enters a facility is 
unconscious or comatose or is unable to communicate, the 
facility shall make reasonable efforts as required under 
paragraph (c) to notify either a family member or a person 
designated in writing by the patient as the person to contact in 
an emergency that the patient or resident has been admitted to 
the facility.  The facility shall allow the family member to 
participate in treatment planning, unless the facility knows or 
has reason to believe the patient or resident has an effective 
advance directive to the contrary or knows the patient or 
resident has specified in writing that they do not want a family 
member included in treatment planning.  After notifying a family 
member but prior to allowing a family member to participate in 
treatment planning, the facility must make reasonable efforts, 
consistent with reasonable medical practice, to determine if the 
patient or resident has executed an advance directive relative 
to the patient or resident's health care decisions.  For 
purposes of this paragraph, "reasonable efforts" include: 
    (1) examining the personal effects of the patient or 
resident; 
    (2) examining the medical records of the patient or 
resident in the possession of the facility; 
    (3) inquiring of any emergency contact or family member 
contacted under this section whether the patient or resident has 
executed an advance directive and whether the patient or 
resident has a physician to whom the patient or resident 
normally goes for care; and 
    (4) inquiring of the physician to whom the patient or 
resident normally goes for care, if known, whether the patient 
or resident has executed an advance directive.  If a facility 
notifies a family member or designated emergency contact or 
allows a family member to participate in treatment planning in 
accordance with this paragraph, the facility is not liable to 
the patient or resident for damages on the grounds that the 
notification of the family member or emergency contact or the 
participation of the family member was improper or violated the 
patient's privacy rights. 
     (c) In making reasonable efforts to notify a family member 
or designated emergency contact, the facility shall attempt to 
identify family members or a designated emergency contact by 
examining the personal effects of the patient or resident and 
the medical records of the patient or resident in the possession 
of the facility.  If the facility is unable to notify a family 
member or designated emergency contact within 24 hours after the 
admission, the facility shall notify the county social service 
agency or local law enforcement agency that the patient or 
resident has been admitted and the facility has been unable to 
notify a family member or designated emergency contact.  The 
county social service agency and local law enforcement agency 
shall assist the facility in identifying and notifying a family 
member or designated emergency contact.  A county social service 
agency or local law enforcement agency that assists a facility 
in implementing this subdivision is not liable to the patient or 
resident for damages on the grounds that the notification of the 
family member or emergency contact or the participation of the 
family member was improper or violated the patient's privacy 
rights. 
    Presented to the governor May 18, 1989 
    Signed by the governor May 19, 1989, 12:10 a.m.